Advocating for Diversity in IP: Practical Ideas for Implementing Change

June 29, 2022 4:30pm

Jason Murata
Partner, Chair, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee
Axinn, Veltrop & Harkrider LLP

Eldora L. Ellison, Ph.D.
Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox P.L.L.C.

K. Nicole Clouse
IP Counsel

Sarah Chapin Columbia
McDermott Will & Emery

Hannah Lee
Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP


Melanie K. Sharp
Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP

The Director of the National Institute of Health (NIH) recently announced that the agency plans “new ways to support diversity, equity, and inclusion,” and will also correct policies within the agency “that may harm our workforce and our science”. The growing call to action seems clear: the pharmaceutical IP community must support equity-mindedness and conscious inclusion if they are to realize the full benefits of a diverse workforce. In this interactive session, points of discussion will include:

  • Growing the awareness of the pharmaceutical IP practitioners among underrepresented racial and ethnic groups
    • Championing their representation in the pharmaceutical IP work force
    • Advocating for diverse and young attorneys appearing in the court room
  • Reviewing data showing the benefits of a diverse workforce
  • Accelerating the advancement of a more diverse pharmaceutical IP community via mentoring and networking
  • Understanding what specific evidence of diversity pharmaceutical companies, and IP departments, are seeking from their law firm counterparts
  • Implementing organizational changes that promote diversity
    • How clients can seek out partnerships with firms that promote:
      • Utilizing NAMWOLF lists
      • Abiding by the Mansfield Declaration
      • Using a DuPont Legal Model
  • Identifying best practices for evaluating your outside firm’s efforts in promoting diversity
    • Reviewing firm statistics on women, minorities, sexual orientation, etc.
  • Sharing data-driven strategies to address current diversity challenges in STEM