How Women Are Rising Up in IP Law


Marilyn Hall Patel ’63, the former chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, and her former law clerk Katherine Helm ’08, now an IP life sciences partner at Dechert in New York, were interviewed for The Recorder, to discuss the state of women in IP law, paternity leave, and more.

Patel: Even now, and I’m glad it’s working out well for you [Kassie], but I think for a lot of women still, over the general patent field, they are still sort of looked at as second wheels. Is it changing?

Helm: It’s changing, but it takes a long time to change. At law firms, the level of attrition for women is very high. And if people don’t figure out how to combat that, you’re never going to have enough women at the higher ranks that are doing those jobs.

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