Molly Lawson is making her mark in a legal field where there are still few women: intellectual-property law for computer technology.
Lawson helps Michael Best & Friedrich clients obtain patent protection both in the United States and overseas. Her patent prosecution and patent-clearance practice concentrates on computer software and hardware technologies, including wireless networks and communication protocols, productivity and messaging software and services, as well as cryptographic and security applications.
She also handles transactional agreements involving computers, such as software licenses, software-development agreements and IT service agreements.
“Technology is changing nearly every aspect of our world dramatically, and demand is high for Molly’s specialized expertise,” said Tom Miller, Lawson’s mentor at Michael Best. “It is tremendous to see Molly’s growth and performance as an up-and-coming leader in this part of our profession, where gender parity remains largely off balance.”
Lawson’s noteworthy accomplishments include building a large and valuable patent portfolio for a startup in the online project-management industry. Her firm credits Lawson’s work for helping the startup become a go-to company in the industry; it was eventually bought by a global conglomerate.
“I really enjoy working on large projects,” Lawson said, “including handling large patent portfolios, where I work closely with the client to develop an overall strategy of protection and then execute the strategy.”
Her area of expertise isn’t surprising given that she obtained a bachelor’s degree in computer science before going to George Mason University Law School.
To keep up with rapid changes in the computer industry, she sets up regular meetings for Michael Best’s electrical and computer-science patent subgroup. During these gatherings, Lawson leads discussions on new technologies entering the market, which can involve data encryption, wireless charging and machine learning.
Outside her Milwaukee office, Lawson volunteers at legal clinics sponsored by Marquette University Law School. She said she especially enjoys working with military veterans on matters such as estate planning and medical directives.
Despite her significant job responsibilities, the wife and mother of two is credited by Michael Best for promoting work-life balance and helping colleagues with children adapt to being parents.
“She is a living example, underscoring that making partnership as a new mom is an attainable goal,” said David Krutz, managing partner at her firm.