On July 21, 2019, the IP Section of the National Bar Association (NBA) presented the 2019 winners of the fourth annual Diversity in Tech & IP Awards. The IP Section created these awards to recognize diverse lawyers and in-house legal departments that have demonstrated a commitment to advancing the hiring, retention, and promotion of diverse attorneys in the technology industry. The awards also recognize and celebrate the successes of diverse attorneys in the technology fields. Justin Pierce, a co-chair of Venable's 200-lawyer IP Division and chair of the NBA's IP Section, presented the awards to the following individual, corporate, and nonprofit winners, all of whom are working to increase diversity throughout the technology and intellectual property sectors.
Individual Award Winners
- Laurie Charrington, associate general counsel, Intel Corporation. In addition to being the Patent Litigation Team lead, Laurie is on the leadership team for Intel Legal's women's leadership program, Leading Edge, and is co-chair of Intel's global Black Leadership Council (IBLC).
- Joe Lee, associate general counsel, Microsoft. Joe has been with Microsoft since 2000, and currently leads the Microsoft Devices & Hardware legal team. He is an active board member and leader in the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA).
- Lisa Collins, intellectual property partner, BakerHostetler. In 2018, the NBA awarded Lisa the 40 Under 40 Award and the Excellence in Leadership Award, which honors one member of the 40 Under 40 class for outstanding leadership.
- John Gibson, litigation partner, Crowell & Moring. John is chair of the firm's 3D Printing Digital Transformation Working Group and a co-chair of the Diversity Council. In 2019, John was honored as the "Attorney of the Year" by the Thurgood Marshall Bar Association.
Corporate Legal Team Awards
- HP Inc. HP Inc.'s award honoring the company's commitment to diversity as a core and guiding value was accepted by Jennifer Prioleau, HP associate general counsel, 3D Printing Division.
- Toyota. Accepted by Frederick Mau, IP counsel, and Humma Siddiqui, managing counsel, Toyota North America, the award honors Toyota's legal services group, led by GC Sandra Phillips Rogers, for its sustained commitment to diversity in IP.
Nonprofit Organization Awards
- North Carolina Central University School of Law (NCCU). Brenda Reddix-Smalls, professor of law and director of the IP Institute at the NCCU School of Law, accepted the award for her instrumental role in founding the IP Institute at the law school.
- Leadership Council on Legal Diversity. Robert Grey, LCLD president, accepted the award honoring the organization's work to transform the legal profession by offering a range of action programs to advance diverse legal talent toward the ranks of corporate and law firm leadership.
Following the award ceremony, Justin Pierce moderated a panel and a lively discussion with the winners and company representatives, on issues surrounding the recruiting, promotion, and retention of diverse lawyers and professionals in IP law and technology.
Venable was also a proud sponsor of the Youth Enrichment Program, offering programs for learning and growth throughout the conference for attendees' children. Activities included educational tours of New York City, visits to area colleges, and participation in a Law School Admission Council (LSAC) program that introduces middle and early high school students to legal careers through a variety of interactive exercises and presentations.
The NBA was founded in 1925 and is the nation's oldest and largest national network of predominantly African-American attorneys and judges. It represents the interests of approximately 65,000 lawyers, judges, law professors, and law students. The annual convention is the NBA's signature event, bringing together law professionals to learn and network.