Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

A ‘born tinkerer’, Liabo-VanDerPol helps foster new technology

By: Nate Beck, [email protected]//September 18, 2019//

A ‘born tinkerer’, Liabo-VanDerPol helps foster new technology

By: Nate Beck, [email protected]//September 18, 2019//

Listen to this article
Erica Liabo-VanDerPol - Boardman & Clark
Erica Liabo-VanDerPol – Boardman & Clark

As a “born tinkerer,” Erica Liabo-VanDerPol has always been drawn to new technology.

When she was an undergrad, she wanted to study advertising and music to write jingles for commercials. But she was pulled into computer science after finding her interest piqued by a job that had her organizing molecular-biology symposiums in college. (The jingles she comes up with now are mostly written with her toddler.)

She’d go on to get a degree in computer science and open her own web-development company, designing sites for a variety of clients — political campaigns, a newspaper, a bank. Yet she still found herself struggling with a recurring problem: She wasn’t always getting paid.

Some of the contracts listed a complex set of delivery dates and required her to develop custom web products for clients. So she began delving deeper into how such agreements are drawn up. What she learned held her interest. Law school was the next logical step.

Once there, Liabo-VanDerPol gained a broad range of experiences, taking a position in the Iowa Court of Appeals. Deciding to pursue intellectual-property law, she found a job in Madison at Boardman & Clark, working in a city that’s about the closest thing the Midwest has to Silicon Valley.

Outside the office, she has worked hard to help others succeed. She often volunteers at a Madison group called Maydm, which helps girls and young people of color learn what they need to work in the tech industry. She’s also a board member of a group called Music con Brio, which provides music lessons to children.

In her five years at the firm, she has found she’s able to work with entrepreneurs and established clients alike to help them protect the new technologies they’re developing. Liabo-VanDerPol says she loves that she is able to immerse herself in a world of innovation and help some new ideas prevail.

“The longer I spend with my clients, I feel more a part of their process,” she said.


What kind of stories do you want to read more of?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Legal News

See All Legal News

WLJ People

Sea all WLJ People

Opinion Digests