American Bar Association
Section of Intellectual Property Law: Women in IP Law Action Group (WIP)

Section of Intellectual Property Law:
Women in IP Law Action Group (WIP)


We are . . . A network of legal professionals working together to advance diversity, expand opportunities for women, and mentor female colleagues in the field of intellectual property law. The action group will share expertise and substantive knowledge and take specific actions to build a better environment of gender equality for teamwork and leadership within the IP profession. The group will also leverage the broad reach of the American Bar Association across substantive practices and will liaise with relevant organizations to attract, inspire and advance more women in IP.


Join us on our next Speaker call: Wednesday, September 27th, 2017, 2017 at 3:00 PM EST / 2:00 PM CST / 12:00 PM PST

Dial-in: 1-866-646-6488

Conference Code: 3219885607

Featured Speaker: Judge Lucy Koh

Judge Lucy Koh was appointed by President Obama to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in June 2010. Governor Schwarzenegger appointed her to the County of Santa Clara California Superior Court for in January 2008. Click here for more…

Previous Speakers:

Monika Tashman, Partner, Fox Rothschild Judy McCool, Senior Vice President, Legal Affairs at HBO

Kenya N. Wiley, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Fashion Innovation Alliance

Linda A. Klein, President, American Bar Association

Alica Del Valle, Senior IP and Marketing Counsel, Airbnb

Professor Jane Ginsburg, Columbia University School of Law

Wynn Coggins, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer, USPTO

Hon. Kara Fernandez Stoll, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit


Each of our subcommittees is tasked with specific responsibilities within the larger mission of the Group. If you are interested in participating in any of these subcommittees, please reach out to the Action Group Chair, or contact the Chair/Vice Chair of each subcommittee directly. We look forward to meeting you and welcoming you to the group!

Subcommittee calls are held on the third Wednesday of every month at 1:00 pm ET.

Outreach – This subcommittee aims to collaborate with various ABA and non-ABA groups to advance, empower, and improve opportunities for women in the legal profession.

Co-Chair: Ida Wahlquist-Ortiz

Co-Chair: Kevin Greenleaf

Mentoring – This subcommittee is in charge of a formal mentoring program that works reciprocally so that both the mentor and mentee benefit. Regional networking events are being planned as one of many opportunities to kickstart what we hope will be long-lasting and fruitful relationships. LinkedIn and the WIP home page will be used as platforms for mentoring and for meeting up in various cities.

Chair: Bernadette Lopez

Vice Chair: Tammy Pennington Rhodes

Education – This subcommittee focuses on attracting and retaining women in the profession by communicating the role, contributions, and history of women in IP, the challenges and opportunities facing women in IP, and techniques for overcoming these challenges and embracing opportunities. This subcommittee will fulfill its mission by providing educational information, resources and programs through ABA-IPL CLE, webinars, social media, the WIP website and through other means. A top priority of this subcommittee is to recommend women for speaking opportunities in the ABA-IPL, with other ABA Sections, Divisions and Forums and outside the ABA.

Co-Chair: Janet Hendrickson

Co-Chair: Darlene Tzou

Website & Social Media – This subcommittee is responsible for the development and updating of WIP’s website, LinkedIn Page, Twitter feed, Facebook page and any other social media platform the group deems appropriate to further the mission of WIP. This subcommittee will endeavor to provide relevant and frequently-refreshed content and an active portal for our members and also to assist the Outreach, Mentoring and Education subcommittees to fulfill their missions.

Co-Chair: Connie Boutsikaris

Co-Chair: Francine Ward


Donna Suchy, Esq, Rockwell Collins, Cedar Rapids, IA

1. What got you interested in law? IP in particular?

Thank you Francine for giving me an opportunity to chat on a topic close to my heart. When my dear friend Lisa Dunner came up with the idea of gathering together a group of women that practiced IP law within our section, I had no idea what to expect. Yet, look at us now! That is why I love the practice of IP law, it is so much more then you can imagine. It allows us to create property, Intellectual Property. I will share a short story of how a girl from an Iowa farm who had never known an attorney actually found out she wanted to be a patent attorney. You know those aptitude tests you take in high school to see what you might be good at: well I loved physics and writing and the test showed that there was a profession called patent law that included both. At that moment when I was 16, I decided what I would be when I grew up. After graduating with a degree in physics and computer science, I taught in a high school in Africa and later worked as an energy and environmental engineer. I went to law school while working as an engineer and was able to realize my dream...…

Click here to view the full interview


We are in the process of setting up regional meetings of our members with the aim of networking and mentoring. Initially, these meetings will likely be held in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. If you don’t see your nearby city listed below, please consider volunteering to be the host for the next event! Please reach out to Nakia Gray (Chair of the Mentoring Subcommittee) to discuss what happens next!


Below is a list of links to recent (and perhaps not so recent) articles and other resources that our members have found helpful in career development – both inside the practice of IP law and otherwise in career development as women lawyers. DISCLAIMER: NEITHER THE ABA, ABA-IPL NOR THE WOMEN IN IP LAW ACTION GROUP ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CONTENT OF THESE ARTICLES, NOR DO THEY ENDORSE THE VIEWS ESPOUSED BY THE AUTHORS OF THESE MATERIALS. THESE MATERIALS ARE INTENDED ONLY FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES AND FOR FURTHER DISCUSSION.

ABA Initiatives, The Grit Project: True Grit and a Growth Mindset

The American Association of University Women (AAUW):

Amy Cuddy, Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are TED TALKS (June 2012)

Sheryl Sandberg, Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders TED TALKS (December 2010)

LeanIN Education: and

The American Association of University Women (AAUW):

Paul Caron, California’s New Bar Exam Format And ABA’s Proposed 75% Bar Passage Requirement Will Adversely Impact Diversity, Women, And Access To The Legal Profession TaxProf Blog (January 2017)

Commission on Women in the Profession Resources:

How to Run a Modern Firm with ABA Blueprint:

How You Can Support Legal Aid:

ABA Day in Washington, April 25-27, 2017:

Veterans Legal Services Initiative:

Protect Our Judiciary:

Law Day:


ABA’s Career Center (for ABA members)

IP Jobs for the U.S. Government pre-filled search




Dunner, Lisa


Grahn, Barbara

Committee Roster  

Modified by Brian O'Connor on September 18, 2017

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