You’re a self-proclaimed music fanatic - how did you end up in IP law?

I grew up obsessed with music. I worked at music venues throughout my teenage years and entered Columbia College in Chicago, eager to pursue a degree in arts management. I happened to have an entertainment law class requirement which not only sparked my interest in law, but really marked the beginning of my legal career trajectory. I’ve always considered myself both a left brain and right brain person, so I’m drawn to anything analytical/logical while also engaging my creative side. Following the class, I interned with the professor, an attorney with a musical background, and I got to see first hand how law can be the perfect marriage - a creative approach to practical concepts. Despite what my parents might tell you, I never thought I would become an attorney!

I pursued my law degree at Golden Gate University in San Francisco, knowing my focus would be IP. As I learned more about all of the aspects of Intellectual Property, I found myself truly fascinated that there was this entire industry with so many layers and levels of strategy, innovation & applicability. When I was younger, I had preconceived notions that the legal industry was too dry or uninteresting for me and diving deeper into Intellectual Property really proved all of that to be inaccurate. I ended up graduating with an IP specialization certificate with distinction – which basically means I’m a soft IP nerd! After law school, I moved back to Chicago where I passed the bar exam and started getting more practical IP experience.

What brought you back to Cleveland?

I grew up in Cleveland area, and it’s really my family that led me to return. After moving back, I decided to start looking to jobs in the area and out of pure happenstance I found Renner Otto looking for a trademark administrator. I had taken to trademarks while working with an IP attorney in Chicago, so I felt that this position would be perfect way to further explore that area while I got my feet planted and worked on getting my license in Ohio.

What do you enjoy most about Renner Otto?

The firm is absolutely, entirely accessible. Not just externally, with our clients, where we pride ourselves - and set ourselves apart from other firms - by being available and engaged. But internally, you can feel just how really involved everyone is with everything - our work and our people. There are so many smart, talented attorneys here that go out of their way to make themselves available as a resource. I can’t imagine anywhere else where I would feel as comfortable walking into a partner’s office to bounce around ideas or strategies - and on top of that, to actually be heard and valued. I think that speaks to the truly collaborative culture we’ve built here.

Are you still a music devotee?

Yes, I’m still a huge music lover. My husband and I actually met working at the same music venue in Chicago, and a lot of our friends still work in the industry, so it’s a huge part of both our lives. Obviously, the pandemic put the concert industry on hold, so with events finally coming back, we’re looking forward to seeing live music again more regularly. We love every venue here - from the Grog Shop to the Agora Theatre and beyond, and are interested in all sorts of genres - from rock to bossa nova! When we’re not rocking out, we’re enjoying working on our newly purchased home in Westlake with our two fur baby cats, Bear & Cosmo.