Deanna Tanner Okun Interviewed for Managing IP Article on Government Leaders Transitioning to Private Practice
Managing IP released an article on the transition from positions in government to private practice law, titled, "Government leaders on going private: ‘recognition gets clients’". Author, Rani Mehta, interviewed four former senior government officials and a current U.S. district court judge.
Deanna Tanner Okun, managing partner of Adduci, Mastriani & Schaumberg LLP (AMS) and former two-term commissioner at the US International Trade Commission (ITC), was one of the former senior government officials who shared her experience in making a successful transition to the private sector.
Topics covered in the interview included the impact of status and industry recognition in attracting clients, how to build a list of clients while navigating conflicts of interest and recusals, and growing laterally through other government talent hires.
Government knowledge is experience that can set a practitioner and firm apart, especially in the world of intellectual property where many government agencies share jurisdiction. The prestige that accompanies a former role may assist a government-official-turned-private-practitioner in client acquisition. Okun praised AMS for promoting the news of her hire to prospective clients. She said, ‘It was a pleasant surprise to me that my phone started ringing. Instead of me having to pick up the phone, companies were seeking me out.’
On the discussion of recusals, Okun mentioned her two-year period where she could not appear in front of the ITC. She used this period strategically to benefit clients by focusing on providing strategic advice. For example, she noted the importance in brief writing to consider, ‘what the commission might be thinking about a particular issue.’
Others interviewed include David Kappos of Cravath Swaine & Moore (former USPTO director), Jose Linares of McCarter & English (former chief district court judge), and Judge Alan Albright of the US District Court for the Western District of Texas (former private practice lawyer and magistrate judge), and Bruce Hoffman of Cleary Gottlieb, (former director of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) bureau of competition).
May 4, 2020