The Harrity Women’s Workshop took place from May 21-23. We invited ten women from law schools across the country to join us to learn about the patent field from leading women in the field. Elaine Spector, Counsel at Harrity & Harrity, and Sandra Maxey, the Firm’s Controller, both wanted to put together a program that would provide women with the skills necessary to succeed both personally and professionally in a high-stress career.
Harrity attorneys presented on topics ranging from the patent process to patent drafting and prosecution, rivaling what can be taught in a traditional classroom setting. The workshop also featured many speakers, including Teresa Rea, a partner and vice-chair of Intellectual Property and a director with C&M International, a subsidy of Crowell Moring. She spoke about her career and how to create a life-work balance, and inspired the women in attendance to set high goals for themselves. Mercedes Meyer, a partner in the Intellectual Property group at Drinker Biddle & Reath explained the importance of creating a business plan and how to set yourself apart from your male counterparts. Barbara Fisher, Assistant General Counsel, Intellectual Property, at Lockheed Martin, gave an empowering speech on setting goals and achieving them. Courtney Holohan, Accenture’s Chief Intellectual Property Counsel, told our workshop participants the ten things she wished she had known when she entered the field. Cynthia Raposo, Senior Vice President of Legal for Under Armour, Inc., discussed issues related to women, including the advancement of women in the field and reasons why women do not tend to promote themselves. Finally, Ami Gadhia of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) led a panel along with Catherine Wendelken, Nekeshia Maloney, and Felicia Metz. They answered questions about their field, technology transfer, and how they manage a life-work balance.
This is the first Women’s Workshop held by the Harrity Women’s Committee, a sub-committee of the Diversity Committee. In 2017, the firm held a Diversity Workshop geared towards introducing law school students to the practice of patent law. Harrity & Harrity is committed to promoting diversity in the legal field, and does so through workshops such as those mentioned above, fellowships, and scholarships for new attorneys.