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IP Law: An inside look at potential careers

Thursday, Oct 13, 2011

Three professionals speak with students

-By Kelsey Schreiberg

As the world becomes increasingly dependent on technology, it’s no surprise that law students lined up to learn about careers in intellectual property law.

At the "Careers in IP Law," event, hosted Oct. 12 by the Los Angeles Intellectual Property Law Association and the USC IP & Technology Law Society, a panel of L.A. attorneys gave firsthand experience about how law and new media technology intersect.

David Grossman and Carole Handler
 David Grossman, left, and Carole Handler

With careers in fields ranging from entertainment to patent law, panelists David Grossman, Carole Handler, and Vision Winter represented the flexibility of intellectual property law. They gave advice on entering the job market, stressed the importance of networking, and urged students to find a career they are passionate about.

Grossman is a partner at Loeb & Loeb LLP, a firm that specializes in intellectual property and business litigation. With experience in trademark infringement, false advertising, and commercial business disputes, he believes his academically and socially stimulating career gives him the best of both worlds.

“As a litigator, I get to work with bright minds and I’m learning something new everyday,” Grossman said.

Handler, an attorney at Lathrop & Gage LLP and an adjunct professor at USC Law, mirrored Grossman’s passion for the job.

“It’s incredibly interesting working with legal issues that are revolutionizing intellectual property law. You have to love what you do and find it challenging and interesting,” she said.  

Handler has worked on major motion picture licensing cases and is an expert on applying copyright principles to new media in the entertainment industry.

Winter
 Vision Winter

Winter is a former engineer for Proctor & Gamble and currently a counsel at O’Melveny & Myers LLP. He specializes in technology-based intellectual property law and patent litigation cases, which he believes is a growing field.

“Only 3 percent of lawyers are patent lawyers, yet 12 percent of the jobs are for patent attorneys,” he explained.

Grossman, Handler, and Winter all stressed the importance of networking, both through USC and through outside organizations such as the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Intellectual Property Law Association.

Handler advised students to develop relationships with legal professionals.

“Be open to experiences, externships, and internships,” she said. “Seek out mentors, network like mad, and use all your contacts. Los Angeles is open for new talent and diverse lawyers, but it is extremely competitive.”

Despite the tough job market, Winter optimistically told students to “be proactive, be realistic, and be aggressive.”
 

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