Intellectual Property Law Firm Brinks Gilson & Lione Announces Incoming Class

Impact of Proactive Diversity Initiatives

/EIN News/ — CHICAGO, Sept. 27, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Brinks Gilson & Lione, one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the United States, announced its incoming class of recent law school graduates: Erik M. Bokar, Sarah M. Goodman, Judy K. He, Dan Liu, and Theresa L. Starck in Chicago; Li Gao, Ph.D., in Ann Arbor, Mich.; and Jieun Lee in Washington, D.C. The members of the class will become associate attorneys upon admission to the bar in their respective jurisdictions.

Notably, six of those in the incoming class are women, the result of Brinks’ longstanding commitment to encouraging diversity in its attorney ranks.

“Diversity is a core value for Brinks and our clients, and we’re seeing progress toward our diversity goals with proactive hiring measures,” notes firm president James R. Sobieraj. “Bringing on women and minority associates and offering them mentoring programs early in their careers supports retention and increases our pool of diverse candidates for eventual leadership roles.”

Adds Sobieraj, “I’m delighted to welcome these highly accomplished law school graduates to Brinks.”

Brinks recently announced its participation in the Diversity Lab’s Mansfield Rule program, a newly established inclusion initiative aimed at increasing diversity in Big Law. The Rule establishes that, at a minimum, 30 percent of a law firm’s candidate pools for any leadership or governance position—including equity partnership promotions and lateral positions—should be women or minorities.

Brinks expects its number of female associates to increase by at least 15 percent next year with an overall goal of 35 percent.

Brinks’ incoming class includes:

Erik M. Bokar
Erik Bokar earned his J.D. in 2017 from the Indiana University Maurer School of Law. While in law school, he drafted patent and trademark applications for the Intellectual Property Legal Clinic, served as a mentor for the Intellectual Property Association, and was a Southeastern region semi-finalist in the American Intellectual Property Law Association’s (AIPLA) Giles Sutherland Rich Moot Court Competition. As a summer clerk at another law firm, Mr. Bokar worked on trademark licensing, contributory infringement, patentability, patent searching, claim construction, discovery, indefiniteness, and tortious interference issues. He graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from The Ohio State University, where he also worked as an undergraduate research associate in the Aerospace Research Center.

Li Gao, Ph.D.
Li Gao, Ph.D., received her J.D. in 2017 from Michigan State University College of Law, where she earned jurisprudence awards in research, writing and analysis, advocacy, torts, and business enterprises. As a summer associate in Brinks’ Ann Arbor office in 2015 and 2016, Dr. Li conducted legal research and assisted in drafting responses to office actions from the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Prior to attending law school, she was director of research and development at AFID Therapeutics Inc., in Lansing, Mich. Dr. Li holds three patents for chemical compositions, and is the author of three articles related to chemical science. She earned her Ph.D. in chemistry from Michigan State University, and holds M.S. and B.S. degrees in chemistry from Nankai University in China.

Sarah M. Goodman
Sarah Goodman earned her J.D. in 2017 from the Indiana University Maurer School of Law, where she served as managing editor of the law journal IP Theory and became a regional quarterfinalist for best appellee brief in AIPLA’s Giles Sutherland Rich Moot Court Competition. She also won first place in the Detroit Mercy Law Patent Drafting Competition. Goodman gained legal experience at Dow Agrosciences LLC and at two other intellectual property law firms, where she assisted in drafting patent applications. Prior to that, Ms. Goodman gained laboratory research experience at State University of New York Upstate Medical University and at the University of Versailles in France. She received her M.S. in patent law from the University of Notre Dame, and her B.S. in medical biotechnology from SUNY Upstate Medical University.

Jieun Lee
Jieun Lee earned her J.D. in 2017 from American University Washington College of Law, where she was a dean’s fellow in the Office of Global Opportunities, president of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, a senior staff member of Administrative Law Review, and a merit scholarship recipient. Prior to attending law school, Ms. Lee worked for Nexen Tire as an intern in the legal department in China and as a research assistant for product development in South Korea. She has volunteered extensively for community service projects around the world, and was honored as an undergraduate with the President’s Volunteer Service Award. Ms. Lee graduated magna cum laude from Wake Forest University with a B.A. in chemistry and Chinese. She is also fluent in Korean.

Dan Liu
Dan Liu earned her J.D. from The John Marshall Law School in 2017. While in law school, Ms. Liu served as a clinical intern for the Patent Clinic, Advanced Patent Clinic, and Veterans Legal Support Center & Clinic, and contributed to the Review of Intellectual Property Law. She was a summer associate at Brinks in 2016, and has experience in the investment management industry as an account director with Xinli Datong Finance Holding Group and as a senior account manager with Shanghai Pivot Investment Management Co. in Shanghai. Ms. Liu graduated in the top one percent of her class at Beijing Jiaotong University, where she earned a B.S. in industrial engineering. She is fluent in Mandarin.

Judy K. He
Judy He received her J.D. from the University of Iowa College of Law in 2017, where she was the managing editor of the Iowa Law Review and vice president of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Society. During law school, Ms. He served as a legal extern for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; as a research assistant for the Clinical Law Program Office of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, the University of Iowa College of Law, and Iowa Legal Aid; and as a judicial intern for the Fourteenth Judicial Circuit Court of Illinois. As an undergraduate, she assisted in the Molecular Otolaryngology and Renal Research Laboratories at the University of Iowa. Ms. He earned her B.A. with departmental honors in chemistry and B.B.A. with university honors in finance from the University of Iowa, and is fluent in Mandarin.

Theresa L. Starck
Theresa Starck graduated in 2017 from the J.D. Certificate Program in Intellectual Property Law at Chicago-Kent College of Law, where she was a teaching assistant in civil procedure and a member of the Honors Scholars Program and the Intellectual Property Law Society. While in law school, Ms. Starck served as a judicial extern for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and the Illinois Supreme Court, and as a summer associate at Brinks and another intellectual property law firm. Prior to attending law school, she supervised a U.S. and Taiwan-based quality assurance team as a research assistant for electronics manufacturer Polyera, and served as a Peace Corps volunteer teaching middle school math and science in Namibia. Ms. Starck holds a patent related to organic semiconductor formulations, and earned her B.S. in materials science and engineering with a minor in civil engineering from Columbia University in the City of New York.

Brinks Gilson & Lione
Celebrating its centennial year in 2017, Brinks Gilson & Lione is one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the US, and helps clients around the world to protect and enforce their intellectual property rights. Brinks Gilson & Lione’s more than 140 lawyers, patent agents and scientific advisors assist clients in all aspects of patent, trademark, unfair competition, trade secret, and copyright law. Brinks attorneys provide informed counsel with respect to innovations in a range of complex and valuable technologies, including pharmaceuticals, chemicals, bioengineering, industrial manufacturing, electronics and software, and medical devices. More information is at

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A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

Sheetal Shah
                    Brinks Gilson & Lione

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