Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP

01/22/2021 | Press release | Archived content

Breaking IP Barriers: Q&A with Finnegan's Mareesa FrederickBreaking IP Barriers: Q&A with Finnegan's Mareesa Frederick

Law360 interviewed Finnegan partner Mareesa Frederick to discuss how she has made it her mission to increase the number of Black women in STEM and introduce patent law as a career option. Mareesa discussed what led her to a career in patent law and talked about how working with younger students has been effective in planting the seed for their interest in a career in STEM and IP.

Mareesa said, 'When I grew up, I don't think I knew a Black woman scientist. I certainly didn't have any teachers. But it was fortunate for me that I went to an all-girls high school and all-girls college, so I started to see that, 'Oh, science is not a thing only a certain subgroup does.' In my class it was only Black women, so that's all I knew and understood. That was my reality. That's another reason why I decided to pursue a STEM career and stay in it, because I had a cohort who was doing the same thing who looked like me.'

As a result, Mareesa recognized the importance of introducing STEM and IP to diverse students early on. She said, 'I read somewhere that one thing that is important when a diverse student or elementary school kid is thinking about what they like to do, is they like to see role models. They like to see someone who looks like them doing it. From that perspective, I try to get involved as much as I can in showing elementary school-age students that Black women are scientists.' In addition, Mareesa taught a patent entrepreneurship course at Howard University for eight years, which exposed undergraduate engineering students to intellectual property law.

Read the full article here.