Book Preview: "Careers in IP Law" by Sharra Brockman

“If you get a law degree you can do anything you want.” That is a phrase often heard before, during, and after attending law school. How much valuable information ever follows that sentence? My guess is not much.
However, Ms. Sharra Brockman aims to bring real answers to that token phrase in her new book, “Careers in IP Law,” published by the American Bar Association’s Section of Intellectual Property Law. Available in April, the book provides readers with a breakdown of each area encompassing intellectual property law and a survey of the legal job opportunities within each. Ms. Brockman led a team of contributing authors towards a goal of writing the book in a way that everyone from the struggling law student to the seasoned law firm partner can benefit from the book. The information is designed to guide readers in exploring new ways they can use their J.D. degree in a conversational, easy to read manner.
Ms. Brockman explained that she had to take a moment and examine what her dream job looked like. “In order for you and your blog readers to figure that part out for yourselves, you have to know what career opportunities are out there, and within IP especially, there may be more than you think,” she says. The search for an understanding of her dream job is what gave Ms. Brockman inspiration to write the book.
The book stems from an ABA Intellectual Property Law web publication on careers that was in need of an update. Ms. Brockman volunteered to lead the endeavor and recruited a team of contributing authors along the way. Their goal involved widening the scope of the resource beyond patent law topics to include more on copyright and trademark law. “As my team of contributing authors and I got started with the rewrite, we decided to add sections on emerging practice blends like technology, advertising, and entertainment law,” Ms. Brockman explains.
Will this book be of any use to attorneys already practicing in the IP field? Of course! There is an entire section of the book, called “Employment Opportunities” which focuses on issues such as how an attorney can make the leap from a traditional law firm practice to an in-house council position. “I am still learning about different career opportunities which would allow me to use my IP knowledge and experience — and I wrote the book on it, so to speak!” Ms. Brockman adds.
Ms. Sharra Brockman is the owner of Verv, an intellectual property law firm in Pittsburgh, PA. Ms. Brockman graduated from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in 2007 and received a B.A. in Communications from Huntington University in Huntington, Indiana. You can meet Ms. Brockman at the ABA’s 28th Annual IP Law Conference in Arlington, VA, in April. She will be presenting her new book at the “Opportunities for Publishing with the ABA-IPL Section” Wine Reception on Thursday, April 4th, from 5:00 pm until 6:00 pm.
Image courtesy of the ABA-IPL.

2 responses to “Book Preview: "Careers in IP Law" by Sharra Brockman”

  1. Franklin Graves Avatar
    Franklin Graves

    Thanks for reading Kevin! Open Source Software is definitely an interesting field. It was actually just last week, in my copyright law class, we were discussing open source software and the various copyright protections available. I checked with Sharra and the topic is a little too specific for the book; however, technology law in general is covered as a practice blend.

  2. P. Kevin Nelson Avatar
    P. Kevin Nelson

    I will be interested to see if the Open Source Software field is discussed. I believe there is a large opportunity for a niche practice properly focused on both the risks and benefits of this emerging resource as it gains acceptance with the commercial software development community.