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Staying on schedule vital for IP paralegal Hughes

Staying on schedule vital for IP paralegal Hughes

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Julie Hughes - Husch Blackwell (Staff photo by Kevin Harnack)
Julie Hughes – Husch Blackwell (Staff photo by Kevin Harnack)

Organization is a must for Julie Hughes.

Hughes, a busy paralegal who has worked nearly 10 years at Husch Blackwell in Madison, works on a variety of intellectual-property cases, including those involving trademarks, copyrights and IP litigation. She helps clients and attorneys with U.S. and international trademark and copyright registrations. She handles a variety of duties from researching relevant information, maintaining individual client trademark and copyright portfolios, preparing and filing copyright applications and related documents to the U.S. Copyright Office and corresponding with clients.

“Keeping things on track is a big part of what I do,” she said. “I do a lot of follow-up, whether it is with clients or the attorneys, gathering information, getting the necessary files and preparing documents. I do a lot of hurry up and wait.”

With attorneys, Hughes talks with them about what she needs for different cases and information regarding approaching deadlines.

“I need to keep the different timelines straight. I take the deadline (for when something is due) and work backwards about what we is needed and when it is needed,” she said. “I definitely have to stay organized.”

Hughes initially joined Husch Blackwell in Madison as a legal assistant and was promoted to paralegal four years ago.

“When I was looking at going to school, the paralegal program really caught my attention. After I received my degree, my career went into a different direction, but working at a law firm was still something I wanted to do,” she said. “I came here and started as a legal assistant and learned a lot about the trademark industry and eventually was promoted.”

Attorneys appreciate Hughes’ quick ability to grasp the ins and outs of intellectual property cases, said Melinda Giftos, the firm’s office managing partner. “Julie is highly organized, an excellent team player and very personable,” she said. “She is a class act.”

While IP lawyers often need to have received a specific type of instruction so they can understand the scientific and technical aspects of the patents and copyrights they are working on, the same is not true for paralegals. “The attorneys work on the technical side of things while I take care of all the paperwork,” Hughes said. “I will say I have learned a lot since I started here. The job is always interesting and never dull.”

At Husch Blackwell, Hughes works with a variety of large and small businesses and non-profit organizations on their trademark issues. Working with non-profit organizations is something she really enjoys.

“Working several veteran organizations and a suicide prevention organization with their trademark needs has been rewarding since you see how the work the groups are doing is helping others,” she said.

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