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Press Release News

Jay Kugler DeYoung Named Chair of Fish & Richardson’s EMPOWER Women’s Initiative

May 7, 2020

Press Release News

Jay Kugler DeYoung Named Chair of Fish & Richardson’s EMPOWER Women’s Initiative

May 7, 2020

Back to News Listing

Fish & Richardson announced today that Jay Kugler DeYoung, a principal in the firm’s Boston office, has been named chair of the firm’s EMPOWER Women’s Initiative. In 2009, Fish created EMPOWER – which stands for Enrichment, Mentorship, Partnering, Opportunities, Wisdom, Excellence, and Responsibility – to promote the recruitment, retention and advancement of the firm’s female legal staff. EMPOWER provides expanded professional and business development opportunities, mentoring, training, and support to position the firm’s women for success.

DeYoung takes over the leadership of EMPOWER from principal Teresa Lavoie, Ph.D., who led the program for more than three years. During her tenure, Lavoie was a key driver of the firm’s work to reduce bias in its promotion process, ensuring candidates are considered on merit. She also helped spearhead Fish’s commitment to the Mansfield Rule and improvements to its parental leave policy. Lavoie will continue to serve on the firm’s management committee.

DeYoung is a preeminent life sciences patent attorney who has spent her career championing women in the law. She has served for 11 years as a group leader for associates and technology specialists – mentoring and evaluating junior members of the Patent Group in Fish’s Boston office. For the past three years, DeYoung has participated in the firm’s Professional Development Subcommittee, which assists in making recommendations regarding principal elevation, and in 2019 she joined Fish’s Board of Directors. She has worked with high school students through Fish’s “Most Patentable Invention” program with the Massachusetts Science and Engineering Fair (MSEF) for the past 18 years, and joined MSEF’s Board in 2019.

Outside of Fish, DeYoung helped found the Women in Bio – Greater Boston Chapter in 2012, and has also been actively involved in the Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts’ (WBA) Mentoring Circles program for over 12 years. In 2020, she was chosen as a mentor in the WBA’s Women’s Leadership Initiative. DeYoung was featured in the Diversity and Flexibility Alliance’s “Spotlight on Flex” in 2019, and she was named to the list of “Top Women of Law” by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly in 2018.

In her new role, DeYoung will be responsible for leading women initiatives at the firm, which support Fish’s ongoing efforts to continuously improve its culture of intentional inclusion. She will lead the firm’s biennial EMPOWER summits, which provide women at all experience levels throughout the firm with an opportunity to make meaningful connections with each other, and she will develop strategies to attract and retain women both at the firm and in the legal profession.

Fish is consistently recognized as one of the country’s top law firms for diversity. In 2019, Fish was named one of the “Best Law Firms for Women” by Working Mother magazine, one of the 20 “Best Law Firms for Minority Attorneys” by Law360, and among the “Top Ten Family Friendly Firms” by Yale Law Women. The firm also earned the Mansfield 2.0 Certified Plus designation from Diversity Lab in 2019 and won an “Innovation in Diversity and Inclusion” award from AmLaw/The Recorder.

DeYoung received her J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School in 2000 and her M.S. in biology (2001) and her A.B. (1992) from the University of Chicago.