Courtroom experience is vital to a young lawyer’s career. However, the number of “stand-up” courtroom opportunities is decreasing as fewer cases go to trial. This, combined with law firm practices that incentivize senior attorneys to handle courtroom arguments and clients’ preferences to have more senior lawyers handle argument and trials, has led to fewer next generation attorneys gaining valuable courtroom experience.
To counter this development, give voice to junior lawyers, and ensure proper training for associates, Fish & Richardson, in collaboration with ChIPs and the Federal Circuit Bar Association, have created www.nextgenlawyers.com in support of the ChIPs Next Gen Initiative. The website is a resource for news, in-depth articles, seminars and judicial orders supporting the need for young attorneys to receive courtroom experience. The website is the brainchild of Fish principal Kathi Vidal.
“Our goal is to empower everyone in the legal profession by granting courtroom opportunities to the next generation of lawyers,” said Vidal, a former electrical engineer and leading patent litigator. “By encouraging and teaching our more junior colleagues, we boost the entire legal profession.”
Vidal notes that she has seen too many women and attorneys of color leave the legal profession. She hopes that by “raising the ocean, all boats will rise: by giving opportunities to junior lawyers who are statistically more diverse than our more senior lawyers, we can hope to increase diversity and inclusion in our profession as a whole.”
Nextgenlawyers.com will be continually updated to provide information that can be used by both the bench and the bar. Key to the site is the growing list of standing judicial orders that demonstrate the commitment by judges throughout the U.S. to ensure associates are receiving courtroom experience vital to their growth as lawyers. Visitors can also find information on next gen developments including press coverage and upcoming seminars.
ChIPs, which partnered with Fish in the development of the website, is a nonprofit organization with the mission of supporting and promoting the advancement, development and retention of women in the fields of technology, intellectual property, and regulatory policy.
“Our 1,200 members come from a range of industries, and we believe that inclusion in the legal practice is critical, as it sets the stage for diversity throughout the technology and IP industries,” states Mallun Yen, founding board director and president of ChIPs and executive vice president of RPX. “Since our initial founding over 10 years ago, Kathi Vidal and Fish have been key supporters in helping to further ChIPs’ vision. We are grateful for Kathi’s continued leadership in bringing the issue of courtroom experience to the forefront of the next gen movement.”
Fish & Richardson is a global patent, intellectual property (IP) litigation, and commercial litigation law firm with more than 400 attorneys and technology specialists across the U.S. and Europe. Fish has been named the #1 patent litigation firm in the U.S. for 13 consecutive years and is one of the busiest post-grant firms, representing more petitioners at the PTAB than any other firm. Fish has been winning cases worth billions in controversy – often by making new law – for the most innovative clients and influential industry leaders since 1878. For more information, visit www.fr.com.
ChIPS is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to advancing women at the intersection of law, technology, and regulatory policy, with the dual purpose of increasing diversity and inclusion in these fields as well as enabling the progress of innovation that benefits society. Founded more than 10 years ago, ChIPs now has over 1,200 members in the United States and around the world who are among the most dynamic and influential in the field of IP. Last year’s ChIPs Women in IP Global Summit attracted more than 450 women from 170 organizations, all sharing ideas to further the advancement of women at the intersection of law, technology and regulatory policy. To learn more about the event and ChIPs, visit http://chipsnetwork.org/.
The Federal Circuit Bar Association is a national organization for the bar of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Leadership of the Association comes from all areas of the country and represents all areas of the legal community of the Federal Circuit. The Association offers a forum for common concerns and dialogue between bar and court, government counsel and private practitioner, litigator and corporate counsel.