Life Is Short—Follow Your Heart

My career has been a path filled with years focusing on positions that promised meaningful intellectual engagement. My professional career, after obtaining a BS in physics at the University of Cincinnati, began at a Chicago university. There I learned to conduct research, run an EEG, and etch circuit boards. Next, a long-established Chicago IP firm, Hill Steadman and Simpson, brought me onto their team, while I attended law school at night. I quickly passed the patent agent exam (on the first try) and earned a place on the letterhead of the firm.

I have recently come to a place of wonder, University of Illinois at Chicago. Here, every day is filled with learning diverse and exciting new technologies in a top tech transfer department. We serve many brilliant students, faculty, and staff from a variety of departments and professional schools on campus, while reviewing their new technologies.

My career up to this point included a long run at home raising my five children and consulting with businesses. I made the choice to focus on raising the children as a main priority, knowing the return to legal practice would be challenging.

Once I returned to practice, I joined the local Women’s Bar Association (WBAI) and headed a Women in Transition committee that presented a continuing legal education programs, including one focusing on transition. The program covered topics such as finding work, cost to reactivate, recommendations for reentry, and a summary of the rules.

Such social agendas are good for the soul and the professional world in general. But the greatest highlight of working as a professional patent attorney has been producing work that is pleasing to the creators and business people I serve. I am a writer engaged in technical short stories, where clarity is often critical. I serve as a bridge, bringing needed information to the expert outside counsel that assist our inventors with each case. In this role, I strive to produce a best possible outcome for each case.

My best career advice for you is this: Follow your heart. Work with people who are caring, and who let you care for them. Life ends much too soon to waste time and pass up nice people.