Woman to Watch

The Women in IP Committee of the AIPLA is pleased to announce COLLEEN TRACY JAMES as a Woman to Watch!

The Women to Watch Series was established by the Women in IP Committee as an avenue to recognize women within the AIPLA community for excellence and accomplishments. Through a peer-nomination process, the Women to Watch Series strives to honor women who have created their own paths, who lead through strong examples, and who are achieving successes as a result of their choices and leadership, but who may not be widely known in the AIPLA community.

We are pleased to introduce Colleen Tracy James, in her own words:

Year working in IP: More than 18 years ago, I began my career as a patent litigator.  My career has been challenging and engaging and I have loved every minute of it.  As an IP patent litigator I am afforded the pleasure of using my science degree every day.  I am a science geek at heart.

Years with current organization: A little over three years ago, I made the great decision to join Mayer Brown LLP, a global Firm that has many different practice areas and dynamic lawyers.

Current location:  I am a New York native and I practice out of Mayer Brown’s New York Office.

Current role: Partner at Mayer Brown LLP, specializing in patent litigation for Life Sciences pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

What I do:  I am a litigator and I love being in the courtroom defending the rights of my clients.  I believe in the life-saving products that my clients have made and in their rights to the patents that protect those products.  I enjoy working with the witnesses who testify to the hard work that goes into making life-changing drugs.  They are truly heroes in my book.

Previous roles: I previously was a partner at a prestigious IP boutique in NY where I was the firm’s first female Managing Partner .  In this role, I was able to bring several issues unique to women to the forefront.

Years and involvement with AIPLA:  I have been a member of AIPLA for nine years and I am presently the Chair of the Emerging Issues Committee.

What was the best professional decision you ever made? Accepting the challenge to first chair a major patent trial.  The trial involved a multi-billion dollar drug, and there was clearly a lot at stake.  This  decision catapulted my career to another level.

What was the worst professional decision you ever made? At the start of my career, listening to a senior partner’s advice on what style I should have as a trial lawyer instead of trusting my own instincts.

What would you consider your greatest professional achievement so far? Serving as lead trial counsel on behalf of the world’s largest innovators in the pharmaceutical field.  I am also very proud of the fact that I was the first female Managing Partner of my predecessor firm.

In your opinion, what could women be doing better to advance their careers? Take charge and do not let others define you.

What is the best advice you have received? Believe in yourself.  If you don’t believe that you are the best, why should anyone else?

More about Colleen:

If they bottled my personality, the label would read: Lightning in a Bottle.

Something I said I’d never do, but did anyway:  Move out of New York City to the suburbs.  But now I love that my 14-month-old daughter can play in our backyard.

One thing people are surprised to find out about me:  I am passionate about horses and compete in equestrian events.  I especially enjoy riding a course and jumping horses over obstacles–  I believe it’s a metaphor for life.

Twitter (@Mayer_Brown), Facebook and LinkedIn.

Colleen’s LinkedIn channel can be found here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/colleentracyjames/.

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