On Wednesday, November 10, 2021 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. CT the IPLAC’s Women in IP Committee and the Chicago Women in IP are hosting a joint webinar on Navigating Personal Development in the Workplace.  The panel will be moderated by Laura Schaefer, Leydig, Voit & Mayer.

The panel members include:

  • Erin Lothson, Uber Freight;
  • RiKaleigh Johnson, Greer, Burns & Crain;
  • Francesca Cardillo, K&L Gates; and
  • Kara E.F. Cenar, Greensfelder.

The event is free for Members and Non-Members.  Please click here to register.

On Tuesday, November 9, 2021, from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. CT, the Membership and Mentoring Committees of the Intellectual Property Law Association of Chicago (“IPLAC”) are hosting a virtual Intro to IPLAC.  The event featured speakers include:

  • Tiffany Gehrke, IPLAC President-Elect;
  • Ritu Chander, IPLAC Board of Managers; and
  • Kenny Matuszewski, Membership Committee Chair.

The event is free for Members and $25.00 for Non-Members.  Please click here to register.

I am excited to introduce you to a new podcast series hosted by Intellectual Property partner Irena Royzman, of Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP.  The Conversations with Women in IP podcast series features judges and leaders in law and business discussing their most memorable cases, career highlights and personal stories.

Click here to listen to the first four episodes and to subscribe to receive notifications when a new episode becomes available.

The first four guests include:

  • Judge Shira A. Scheindlin — Served as a district judge for New York’s Southern District for 22 years. She has presided over dozens of intellectual property cases and was part of the Southern District’s patent pilot program. But she is best known for her rulings that have changed the lives of New Yorkers, including her landmark ruling on stop-and-frisk. Judge Scheindlin, who had Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as a mentor, has been involved in gender equality issues for decades and continues to be an outspoken advocate on gender disparity in big law. Judge Scheindlin is now a mediator and arbitrator and devotes her time to many good works.
  • Judge Sue L. Robinson — Served on the district court of Delaware from 1991 to 2017. Judge Robinson has presided over more than 100 patent trials, more than 1,500 cases and has issued thousands of patent opinions. Judge Robinson now practices patent law as a mediator, arbitrator and trial consultant at Farnan LP with her colleague on the district court of many years, Judge Joseph J. Farnan, Jr. They discuss how Judge Robinson was involved in turning Delaware into one of the most important venues for patent litigation and the challenges she faced.
  • Berkeley Law Professor Molly Shaffer Van Houweling — Professor of patent law and intellectual property and associate dean at Berkeley Law, with a focus on copyright law. She’s also an American competitive cyclist who has won numerous championships and set a world record. Professor Van Houweling discusses clerking for Judge Boudin on the First Circuit, Justice Souter on the Supreme Court as well as women in IP in academics.
  • Dr. Barbara Ruskin — An eminent RNA researcher, IP lawyer, and now the general counsel and chief patent officer of Silence Therapeutics, an RNA therapeutics company. Dr. Ruskin shares stories from her career in science and law, the excitement and potential of RNA medicines, and the challenges that women in IP and the industry face.

The Intellectual Property Law Association of Chicago (IPLAC) Board of Managers is excited to present a series of speed networking events.  The first virtual speed networking event will be hosted by IPLAC Board member Karen Hwang on Wednesday, October 27, 2021 from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. CT.

The event is free for Members and $25.00 for Non-Members.  Please click here to register.  A Zoom-Event Link will be sent after registration.

Illinois’ Senators Durbin (D) and Duckworth (D) announced that they have established a screening committee and are accepting applications from those interested in serving as a Federal District Court Judge in the Northern District. The screening committee will consist of:

  • The Honorable David H. Coar (Ret.)(committee chair):  Judge Coar served as a United States District Judge for the Northern District of Illinois for sixteen years, from 1994-2010.   He had previously served the Northern District for eight years as a United States Bankruptcy Judge and for three years as a United States Bankruptcy Trustee.  Judge Coar taught for over a decade at DePaul University College of Law as an Associate Professor of Law and additionally served as Associate Dean.  He has also worked in private practice and as an arbitrator.  Judge Coar received his B.A. from Syracuse University, his J.D. from Loyola University Law School, and his L.L.M. from Harvard Law School.  He is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps Reserves.
  • Alejandro Caffarelli: Caffarelli is the founding shareholder of Caffarelli & Associates Ltd in Chicago.  He is a former President of the National Employment Lawyers’ Association – Illinois affiliate, as well as a former Executive Board member for the Hispanic Lawyers’ Association of Illinois.  In 2014, Mr. Caffarelli was appointed by Judge Rubén Castillo to the Pro Bono Advisory Committee for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.  Since 2005, Mr. Caffarelli has also volunteered to help indigent workers through the ARISE-Chicago community organization, and currently serves on the ARISE Legal Advisory Board.  Mr. Caffarelli received his B.A. from the University of Michigan and J.D. from the University of Minnesota.
  • Michael Chu: Chu is a partner at the Chicago office of McDermott Will & Emery and sits as the chair of the firm’s Racial and Ethnic Diversity Subcommittee.  He is also the local head of McDermott’s Intellectual Property Litigation Practice Group. Mr. Chu is the immediate past board chair of Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Chicago (2013-2020) and is a former president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (2004-2005). He received his B.S. from the University of Illinois in 1989 and his J.D. from the William and Mary Law School in 1992.
  • Kevin Conway:  Conway is a partner at the law firm Cooney & Conway in Chicago. His practice focuses on mesothelioma, mass tort, wrongful death, and catastrophic injury cases.  He is a fellow of the International Society of Barristers and the American College of Trial Lawyers, and is a past president of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association. He is also past chairman of the Daniel Murphy Scholarship Fund, past president of the Celtic Legal Society of Chicago, and a board member for Lawyers for the Creative Arts. He received his B.A. and J.D. from Loyola University in Chicago.
  • Herschella Conyers: Conyers is the Lillian E. Kraemer Clinical Professor in Public Interest Law and the Director of the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Clinic at the University of Chicago Law School. Before joining the law school, she served as an assistant public defender, supervisor, and 6th District Deputy Chief in the Office of the Cook County Public Defender.  Her work included conflicts and capital litigation. She is also actively engaged in criminal and juvenile justice policy and is currently the Chair of the Juvenile Justice Initiative. She is emerita faculty and former board member of the National Criminal Defense College. She received her B.A. and J.D. from the University of Chicago.
  • Edward Feldman: Feldman is a partner at the Chicago law firm Miller Shakman Levine & Feldman LLP, where he has worked since 1988.  His practice focuses on complex civil litigation and professional responsibility matters.  He previously served as law clerk to U.S. District Judge Marvin E. Aspen and then worked for two years as a clinical fellow at the Northwestern University Legal Clinic.  He has served as an adjunct law professor at Northwestern since 1988 teaching trial advocacy and ethics.  He is a past Chair of the Chicago Bar Association Professional Responsibility Committee and of the Board of Directors for the Chicago Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights.  He received his B.A./B.S. from the University of Illinois and his J.D. from Harvard Law School.
  • Betty Y. Jang:  Jang is General Counsel at Tegria.  Previously, she has served as an executive at several corporations, practiced at a national law firm, was an adjunct professor at the University of Illinois College of Law, and began her career as an assistant public defender with the Office of the Cook County Public Defender. Ms. Jang has volunteered as a scholarship evaluator for the APIA Scholars program, is an alumnus of the United State of Women’s Galvanize Chicago Program, and has held numerous Board positions in local, state, and national bar associations.   She received her B.A. from the University of Illinois and her J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law.
  • Monica L. Llorente:   Llorente teaches at Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law and the Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences.  She has served as an advocate for children’s rights in several national campaigns and has represented children in need in various judicial and administrative proceedings. She is currently the Education Co-Chair of the ABA Children’s Rights Litigation Committee.  Ms. Llorente has also served as a board member of the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois. Before working at Northwestern, she practiced law at Baker & McKenzie in Chicago. She received her A.B. from Duke University and her J.D. from the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law.
  • Laurie Mikva: Mikva is a clinical assistant professor at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law.  She previously worked as an attorney at the Illinois Department of Employment Security and the Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation, and also served as an assistant public defender in the Champaign County Public Defender’s Office and the Office of the Maryland Public Defender, Appellate Division. She is a Commissioner on the Illinois Court of Claims, and she also serves on the Board of Directors for the Legal Services Corporation and on the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service.  She received her B.A. from Beloit College and her J.D. from New York University School of Law.
  • Carlina Tapia-Ruano: Tapia-Ruano is the principal and founder of the Chicago office of Tapia-Ruano & Gunn PC. She has practiced in the field of immigration law for over thirty years, focusing on family and employment matters. She is a former president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and former chair of the Chicago Bar Association Section on Immigration Law. Ms. Tapia-Ruano is a current adjunct professor at IIT-Chicago Kent School of Law and has also taught at DePaul University College of Law. She received her B.A. from Illinois Wesleyan University and J.D. from DePaul University College of Law.
  • Zaldwaynaka (“Z”) Scott: Scott is currently the President of Chicago State University, a position she assumed in 2018.  From 1987 to 2003, she worked as a federal criminal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois, serving in various management positions including Chief of the General Crimes Section.  After her service at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, she served as Executive Inspector General for the Office of Governor of Illinois (2003-05) and worked as a partner in the Chicago office of Foley & Lardner LLP.   She also served for four years in the Office of the Corporation Counsel for the City of Chicago (1983-87).  She has taught as an adjunct instructor at Northwestern University School of Law, the University of Chicago Law School, and The John Marshall School of Law.  She received her B.S. from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and her J.D. from the Indiana University School of Law-Bloomington.
  • Diana White: White worked at Legal Aid Chicago (formerly LAF) for more than 20 years, 10 of them as Executive Director.  She retired in July 2017. Legal Aid Chicago is the largest provider of free legal services in civil cases in the metropolitan Chicago area.  Its full-time staff of more than 100 attorneys and paralegals provides legal help that gets people living in poverty back on their feet and strengthens communities throughout Cook County.  Previously Ms. White was a partner at Jenner & Block and a law clerk to Chief Judge Walter Cummings on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit.  She received her B.A. from Smith College and her J.D. from the University of Chicago.

Applicants must submit a cover letter, resume, and a completed copy of this questionnaire to applications@durbin.senate.gov by 5 p.m. CT on Monday, October 25.  Applications should be sent as a single PDF document.  In light of COVID, the questionnaire need not be notarized.

The United States Courts of Appeals along with the United States District Courts in the Seventh and Eighth Circuits are hosting the Second Annual Bill of Rights Day Contest.

The Contest is open to all students in grades 3-12 in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.  Students are encouraged to submit art (videos, visual art, poems, songs) and essays on the Importance of the Bill of Rights.

A grand prize winner from each of the three groups (3-5, 6-8 and 9-12 grade) will be awarded a $500 cash prize, take part in the virtual event on Wednesday, December 1 with Federal Judges and other legal experts on the enduring rights afforded to Americans by the Bill of Rights, and have their name and submission shared on the websites of the participating United States District Courts. Semi-finalists from each District Court will receive an electronic gift card valued at $50.

District Semi-finalists will be notified before Thanksgiving and grand prize winners will be announced at the virtual event on December 1.  Must be present to win the grand prize.

Submissions along with a completed entry form will be accepted Friday, September 17, through 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 31.  Click HERE to download the rules and entry form.

Email Submissions and Forms to: Education@ilnd.uscourts.gov

Everyone is encourage to join the virtual event on December 1st at 6:00 p.m. CT/7:00 p.m. ET.  Contest participation is not required for the virtual event.  There will be chances to win additional prizes!

Event registration is required. Click HERE to register.

For questions, please contact Lauren Thiel at Lauren_Thiel@ilnd.uscourts.gov or via phone at 312-435-5603.

For additional information please see below:


The IPLAC’s Mentorship Committee is excited to announce its second annual mentorship session.  The mentoring program pairs experienced attorneys, patent agents, and paralegals with new attorneys, patent agents, paralegals and law students to provide mentoring in the intellectual property legal profession. This is a great opportunity to build both the experience and collegiality of our local IP bar. Please consider taking part in this program.

Registration for the Mentorship program will be open from September 27, 2021 to October 11, 2021.  Mentorship pairings will be announced by October 18, 2021 with a virtual introductory event on October 28, 2021.

On November 4th to November 5th, from 7:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. CT, the UIC John Marshall Law School Center is hosting its 65th Annual Intellectual Property Law Conference.  The virtual conference offers an impressive lineup of Moderators and Panelists covering an expansive list of topics.  Sessions for each day are listed below:


  • Welcome & Don Dunner Leadership Award
  • Rethinking Innovation
  • The State of IP Law & Policy
  • Global Patent Issues
  • Copyright: The New Normal
  • Vaccines, IP, and Global Equity
  • Technology & Privacy
  • The Federal Circuit in Review
  • Forces of Change
  • Standard Essential Patents

 DAY 2

  • Global IP Issues
  • AI
  • Trademarks
  • Competition
  • A Conversation with Corporate Counsel
  • Regulating IP and Technology
  • Looking Beyond the Bend

To view the detailed conference schedule, click here.  The conference offers 13 hours of CLE credits including one hour of Diversity.  Click here to register.

On Thursday, September 23, 2021, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. CT, the Corporate Committee of the Intellectual Property Law Association of Chicago (“IPLAC”) is hosting a panel discussion focusing on how to transition and succeed as an in-house counsel.  The panel is being moderated by Kara DeAngelis, McDonald’s Corporation Counsel, Privacy & Information Governance.  Panel members include:

  • Alexandra Kleiman, Momofuku, General Counsel and VP of Business Ventures;
  • Ann Palma, Groupon, Senior Corporate Counsel, Intellectual Property;
  • Megan Sindel Agnew, Heyday, Head of Legal and
  • Susan Lester, McDonald’s Corporation, Senior Counsel, Marketing & Intellectual Property.

The event is free for IPLAC Members and $25.00 for Non-Members.  Click here to register for this event.  Zoom – Event link will be sent after registration.

On Tuesday, September 21, 2021, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. CT, the Intellectual Property Law Association of Chicago’s (IPLAC) Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee is hosting a virtual film discussion on One Night in Miami. The film is a fictional account of one incredible night where Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, Sam Cooke, and Jim Brown gathered to discuss their roles in the civil rights movement. Issues brought up by the characters and ways in which such issues can be addressed in our IP community will be discussed.  Click here to register for the event.  Once you register, you will receive a link to a Watch Party sometime during the weekend of Friday, September 17 and Sunday, September 19.

The event is free to both IPLAC Members and Non-Members.