In partnership with the ChIPs Network, our San Francisco office hosted a group of more than 30 young women from Bay Area high schools this week for an up-close look at careers in tech law.
ChIPs is a nonprofit dedicated to advancing women at the confluence of technology, law and policy. Its Advocacy, Leadership and Innovation (ALI) program gives young women exposure to a diverse range of leaders, including those who have charted their own courses in areas where women have historically been unrepresented, to gain insights into their careers, personal stories and strategies for success. All of the students are interested in the law, yet the majority have no female role models in the legal profession.
Orrick partners Cathy Lui and Karen Johnson-McKewan worked closely with ChIPs to organize the two-day event, which included a trip to the offices of Salesforce and sessions with local federal judges. On Tuesday, Cathy and associate Johanna Jacob kicked off the ALI program with a presentation on IP and the Waymo v. Uber case.
Karen then moderated a panel discussion and Q&A that featured Amanda Galton, co-leader of the firm’s global Tech Companies Group practice, and partners Beth Goldman, Melinda Haag, Annette Hurst and Amy Van Zant, as well as associates Lillian Mao, Kayla Delgado and Lara Graham, who discussed their varied career paths. Among the highlights from the panel: Annette shared her IP trial war stories (including Bratz v. Barbie) and the importance of technical degrees, Lara shared her nontraditional path to Big Law, and Amy shared how working in the restaurant industry prepared her for client service. Associate Jazmin Holmes wrapped up the day for the group and provided an introduction to federal court.
The Recorder covered the event at Orrick, noting that “eight female lawyers with diverse backgrounds and practices shared their personal stories about their career paths, as well as the challenges and opportunities they encountered along the way.”