Written by Cal Poly (San Luis Obispo) student volunteers Hannah Poplack and Molly Parsons

On Wednesday, September 14, ChIPs hosted the inaugural Next Gen Summit at WilmerHale and Sidley Austin LLP in Washington, DC for 230 ambitious young professionals. Building off of the continual success of ChIPs’ widely popular pre-Summit mock exercises, the organization expanded their programming to individuals in the first fifteen years of their careers. The day began with mock exercises and included a full afternoon of events tailored to the next generation of women leaders.

“It was important for us to start this tradition so the next generation of women are ready to take over and continue the progress ChIPsters have already made for us,” said Emily Hostage, Director of Corporate Development and Policy Counsel RPX, and ChIPs Co-Chair of the Community Outreach and Pro Bono Committee, ChIPs. “I hope our first event inspired some next gen leaders to step up and join us.”

The Next Gen summit hosted a full day of programming tailored to young professionals, focusing on giving these high-potential individuals the opportunity to hone their legal skills, access relevant programming through panels and working sessions and expand their network through forging connections with their equally accomplished peers.

The morning session commenced with the annual Mock Damages Trial, held at WilmerHale. For the exercise, members of the judiciary, government, as well as in-house executives, presided over two teams facing off against each other in front of a live expert witnesses and a mock jury. Each team, comprising young professionals from all over the country, presented an opening, a direct/cross examination of a patent damages expert and a closing for a mini patent damages case. The morning session concluded with a networking lunch and a session reviewing the morning’s activities.

The afternoon sessions reconvened at Sidley Austin LLP for the inaugural half-day Summit focused on the next generation of leaders in law, tech and public policy. Mock trial teams were joined by additional ChIPs members from across the government, the judiciary and in-house “next gen” leaders, for four sessions focused on personal and professional development.

Joanna Bloor, CEO of the Amplify Lab, led the first session of the Summit, an electrifying and interactive workshop on building your personal brand, titled “You are the Product,” that encouraged the room of young professionals to “take back their stories” by articulating the best versions of themselves and demonstrating their personal value-add.

The second session was a panel highlighting unique career paths within the legal field, featuring a discussion between Emily Hostage of RPX and ChIPs; JAG LCDR Claire Huffstetler, Command Judge Advocate in the Navy; Tricia Timm, Founder, GC Assist; Judge Elizabeth Laporte, Northern District Magistrate Judge; and Laura Norris, Assistant Clinical Professor and Director of the Entrepreneur’s Law Clinic, Santa Clara University.

The third session was particularly unique to Next Gen and featured a Mother-Daugher interview between Judge O’Malley of the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and her daughter Nora O’Malley, Co-Owner and Beverage Director at Lois Wine Bar. The O’Malleys candidly shared their experience and advice for one another, and reminisced on many impactful moments in Judge O’Malley’s career and Nora’s childhood and career.

The final session of the Summit featured a panel focused on raising your professional profile through social media and innovation. Featuring Julie Brush, Founder, the Lawyer Whisperer; Annsley Merelle Ward, IPKat and Bristows LLP; and Eileen Carey, Founder and CEO, Glassbreakers. Sarita Venkat, Senior Counsel, Apple, moderated this discussion on how young professionals can use innovations and social media to strengthen their careers. The Next Gen event concluded with a rooftop networking reception hosted by Sidley Austin LLP.

Hannah Poplack is a student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, studying Finance. She is currently interning at Apple, in the Finance Development Program. Connect with Hannah on LinkedIn here.

Molly Parsons is a student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, studying Economics, Finance and Statistics. She is currently interning at PwC as a Management Consultant in the Financial Effectiveness Program. Connect with Molly on LinkedIn here.