Why did you choose to practice law and how did you decide to practice in your particular area of law?
Personally, I have always been interested in the development of technology. It was this interest that drove my decision to major in computer science and guided me to become an intellectual property (“IP”) attorney. IP law provided me with an intersection of my personal interests and my professional goals. It allows me to practice law at the forefront of technology and allows me to see the latest innovations brought to life firsthand.
I vividly recall the first time I sat down with an inventor. I relished hearing about the new software innovation, but I also saw the gratification on his face because he valued our insight and work to protect his invention. It was such a positive moment for that engineer, but it was also the moment when I realized I had picked the practice area that would turn into a lifelong career.
What do you like best about being Hiring Partner?
I enjoy talking to law students who are passionate about their upcoming careers. I am always interested in providing students with mentorship and guidance “from the trenches” that I believe can really help shape how they view the practice of law.
In your opinion, what makes Alston & Bird a great place to work?
I joined Alston & Bird as a fifth-year associate, moving across the country to a city I didn’t know. What drove me to make such a huge jump was twofold: First, the work. Alston & Bird provided me with a platform that enabled me to work with global, leading companies on the most complex IP matters. Second, the people. From day one as an associate, to joining the partnership, the firm is one of a kind in its culture. The mentorship, training, and personal meaningful relationships are bar none.
I believe that our culture sets us apart because the firm invests in all team members. That culture creates a dynamic and collegial place to work. It’s no surprise that Alston & Bird is consistently ranked by Fortune as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” for 21 consecutive years. We’re very proud of that record.
If there was one piece of (career) advice you could provide to a law student, what would it be?
Be curious in all that you do. It’s up to you to capture as much knowledge, mentorship, information, and guidance as you possibly can from each opportunity. Investigate. Ask the tough questions. Ask the “dumb” questions. Use all of this information to craft the type of practice that is personally satisfying for you.
What was the most memorable recruiting experience for you personally as a law student?
My most memorable recruiting experience was my first connection with a partner as a summer associate. The connection was based on a nondescript memorandum related to Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), but grew into the ability to shadow that partner throughout his daily practice. More than any particular event, the ability to see what a career in IP law could be and the need to develop a unique practice, led me to my current practice.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
My free time is focused on my spouse, daughters, and dogs. We enjoy all things outdoors and are always looking for the next adventuresome hike that ends in a treat. Outside of family time, I enjoy playing tennis and traveling.
What is your favorite quote?
“If you can keep your head when all about you while all others are losing theirs and blaming it on you . . . If you can dream, and not make dreams your master; If you can think, and not make thoughts your aim; If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same; . . . Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it . . .” - Rudyard Kipling
Who inspires you and why?
People who are dedicated to service, whether that is service in a civilian service organization, the military, or in our schools, inspire me.