On Thursday, November 17th the BBA’s IP Law Committee and New Lawyers Section teamed up to host Crafting a Career in IP: A Candid Look at Different Paths to Practicing Intellectual Property Law, where an expert panel will discuss the possible paths new or transitioning lawyers can take to have a successful career in IP Law. BBA Week is wondering at what point in their lives our members decided to pursue a legal career, so we are asked"

"When did you decide that you wanted to be a lawyer? "

If you would like to respond to a future Voices of the Bar, make sure you send a headshot, and contact Eric Fullerton at efullerton@bostonbar.org.


Jessica R. Manganello - New Leaf Legal
"I was a very odd child and had my life plan in order from an early age.  I decided to become a lawyer when I was 4 years old and chose corporate law when I was 11 (probably due to Richard Gere’s legal strategy (and attractiveness) in Pretty Woman).  I toyed with the idea of other professions over the years, but I always stuck with corporate law and I chose correctly.  Love it!"

Gregory S. Sampson  - Robinson & Cole
"I first started thinking about becoming a lawyer when I was working as a wetland scientist with BSC Group, Inc., where we would have frequent office debates on interpretations of the recently adopted Rivers Protection Act and its new regulations.  I ultimately made my decision shortly after I served as an expert witness, having been adeptly cross-examined by Ken Kimmell (now the DEP Commissioner).  After he picked apart my testimony defending a wetland delineation I had performed, I realized how effective an attorney can be in the environmental/land use permitting field.  By the time a draft administrative decision was issued (that affirmed my delineation!), I had started law school classes."

Katie Ahern – Hinckley Allen & Snyder
"Growing up, my grandmother always stressed the importance of academics, career goals, and hard work.  I decided that I wanted to be a lawyer at age twelve and shadowed a local attorney to get a sense of the field.  From that point, my interest in the law grew, and I developed an interest in business as well.  Several years into practice, I'm very happy with my middle-school choice!"

Michelle Spaleta - Attorney at Law
"I always wanted to be a pediatrician. That was until a fourth grade field trip to our local aquarium and the task of dissecting a fish convinced me otherwise. Minutes into the assignment I fainted from the sight of blood and my mother told me that I should "reconsider" being a doctor. In Junior High and High School I developed a strong affinity for student government and politics. It was after a school trip to Washington D.C. that I knew a career in law and politics were in my future."


Rachel Cronan – Attorney at Law
"In undergrad I took a course with a professor of neuroscience. He was telling us about a new invention he had made that was currently in phase III trials with the FDA. In the course of this discussion he told us how he had invented another device that is now widely used in surgeries across the US-but failed to attain a patent for it. As a result he lost out on the monetizing the invention. I remember at that moment thinking that I wanted to help inventors monetize their inventions and be rewarded for their hard work and innovation. I started researching the field of intellectual property and decided to pursue it as my career."