“We regret to inform that you were not selected as a candidate for the fall class of 2003.”
Success without setbacks only happens in made for tv movies. But you’ve got this, Genius.
It was 2003. I remember that moment like it was five minutes ago, though not much of what followed. Nothing else mattered. I was expecting something more like, “Congratulations…” It should have been the beginning of my career as a law student and future attorney.
I gave myself a few days of sobbing and ice cream gluttony. I’d made a pact (with myself) a few years earlier that I’d stay the course no matter what. This was the what. It was a flat tire during my professional journey. However, one doesn’t cancel their journey because of a blow out. You fix it and get back on the road. That’s exactly what I did.
The first order of business was taking a long hard look at would I could do to strengthen my application for the next go-round. Truth is, my LSAT score was whack. I hate standardized tests (don’t we all). I didn’t want to retest. It wasn’t worth the risk knowing that this sort of testing wasn’t my strong suit. I applied and was quickly accepted to a reputable grad school program that aligned with my interests. I worked my tail off, that first year of my graduate studies. 3.9 GPA. Yes. Once step closer.
I didn’t stop with kicking butt in my program. I landed a job working in risk management for G.E. Capital (rail division). It was the eye of the tiger. The fight was getting into law school. It paid off big time when not only was I accepted in round dos with a partial scholarship. Law school in 2004. I was ready. I’d hit my stride.
Or, so I thought. The universe smacked me with a “hey lady wake-up, no resting on your laurels” moment when I received a C in my legal writing class. As a bonafide writer (I am) this was not okay. A pep talk was in order, it went something kinda like this, “Okay Patrice, you know you’re a great researcher and writer, what’s the best way to let everyone else know it?” Become a research assistant for a distinguished law professor. Check. Work your arse off. Check. Compete for a slot as a staff writer for our Health Law Journal. Land said spot. Check, check. I even served as Business & Publications Editor for three consecutive years.
This is not a discourse on my law school journey (because who cares right?). It’s a testimony to my superpower – my ability to persevere, smash goals, and soar, even when the world tries to knock me off balance.
I believe that anything is possible. Even when the odds are stacked against you (and this is why I am not only an attorney but your genius coach and an American Bar Association recognized, “Legal Rebel”).
Given this unexpected start, I considered myself a non-traditional law student and, now a more un-conventional attorney. In my professional career I’ve worked in roles allowing me to protect the underdog, lead start-up initiatives, change lives, and disrupt industries (everything that I love and bring to the table in Creative Genius Law).
- As a pro bono coordinator for a legal aid organization, I started and designed our Continuing Legal Education Program, and started and developed our Special Education legal project. Our Special Ed program was recognized by Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne M. Burke.
- As part of a small start up team for a Federal Court appointed compliance office, I developed compliance and monitoring protocols to ensure merit-based employment practices in local government offices. It’s the only program of it’s kind in the United States.
- As founder of StreetFood Artistry, a non-profit organization, I provide pro bono legal services to one deserving creative entrepreneur each year. We hosted the first food truck fest in Chicago.
- As the national social media director for a legal tech start-up, I steer social media and digital marketing strategies. Our online network makes small law [firms] competitive with BigLaw by crowdsourcing resources and collaboration. It’s a game changer.
My mission is to make lifelong creativepreneurship possible for you:
- I develop legal strategies to support your big picture goals. I use the law to protect your business AND leverage your creativity (Go figure, the law doesn’t have to actually stifle your creativity at all).
- I make sure you are never out of the loop. No, you didn’t choose to go to law school (and that’s fine) but as a business owner I want you to be empowered with an understanding of the basic legal issues at play in your business, so you can confidently make savvy decisions.
- I am not just your lawyer, but your legal partner. We collaborate regularly on your grand ideas and everyday business decisions to minimize risks and maximize opportunities (because you have this secret power called Intellectual Property that I’ll pay extra special attention too).
And, here are the lawyer(ly) creds:
- Juris Doctor, DePaul University College of Law. B.S. Business Economics, Florida A&M University.
- Business and Publications Editor, DePaul Health Law Journal
- Contributing Researcher, In the Shadows of the War on Terror, Persistent Police Brutality and Abuse of People of Color in the United States: A Report Prepared for the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, presented in Geneva, Switzerland.
- 2014 American Bar Association “Legal Rebel”
- American Bar Association
- United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Office Action Task Force
- Copyright & Social Media Committee
- Trademark Litigation Committee
- Trademarks & The Internet Committee
- Illinois State Bar Association
- Metropolitan Board of the Chicago Urban League
- Future Leaders Council, YWCA
- Chicago Artists Coalition
Speaking Engagements and Workshops
- Creative Expo: Protect Your Brand In Cyberspace (2012)
- Collabo Music Industry Mixer: The Business of Licensing and Publishing (2012)
- Zhou B Art Center: The Top 10 Pitfalls of Creative Entrepreneurs (2013)
- Chicago Artists Coalition: Negotiating Contracts, Intellectual Property + A Little Social Media In Between (2013)
- Blogging While Brown Conference (NY): Got a Blog? Protect Your Brand in Cyberspace (2013)
- Chicago Urban League (2013)
- Hyde Park Art Center (2014)
- South Side Community Art Center (2014)
- Chicago Artists Coalition (2014)
- ColorComm Chicago (2014)
- AVVO Lawyernomics (upcoming 2015)