Carolyn Blessing, a partner in the Chicago office of Locke Lord, stumbled upon the field of intellectual property law by chance. While in high school, she attended an international school in Germany where she was required to choose between focusing on arts and letters or the sciences when she applied to universities. As someone with an interest in both, she looked for a path where she wouldn’t need to choose. Luckily, Carolyn was able to shadow a lawyer in an IP boutique firm for a week, after which she was determined to become an IP lawyer herself. The experience allowed her to see people who had become experts in both the arts and letters and the sciences. Years later, Carolyn Blessing is an expert in her own right as an intellectual property partner at Locke Lord.
Carolyn pursued a dual degree in English and biochemistry and authored a scientific article on nuclear actin-related proteins (ARPs). After obtaining her dual degree, she worked as a neurobiologist for a major pharmaceutical company and then attended Notre Dame Law School. Now, at Locke Lord, Carolyn concentrates her practice in IP pharmaceutical matters and Hatch-Waxman litigation. She represents pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in all aspects of intellectual property litigation, including her favorite part of the process: working with expert witnesses. Carolyn remarks that she loves talking to extremely intelligent people and packaging their expertise in a way that non-scientists can understand. She is proud of her ability to distill the complex technical information received from experts and turn it into a winning strategy. Working with experts allows her to employ a number of skills, including organization, communication, and leadership, to reach a favorable end result for her clients.
Carolyn is among the first members of ChiWIP. She is also involved in the Joffrey Ballet’s Generation J Leadership Council, the Richard Linn American Inn of Court, and the Coalition of Women’s Initiatives in Law. These organizations act as an outlet for Carolyn to give back to the community and meet new people. She believes that involvement in these organizations has made her a better person both professionally and in her personal life, and she encourages young professionals to be involved in organizations they are passionate about. Carolyn also encourages young professionals to make it a habit to track their accomplishments. Since she began her career, Carolyn has done her best to record every matter she’s been a part of, every organization she’s been a member of, every event she’s spoken at, and every deposition she’s participated in. She does this so she’s able to speak accurately about her accomplishments. Carolyn says this is a way to ensure that you have evidence (for yourself and others) of your accomplishments and professional worth.
When she’s not preparing for trial or planning her upcoming wedding, Carolyn enjoys traveling and seeing the world. She believes this is inspired by her moving around as a child. So far she’s been to Turks and Caicos, the Canary Islands, the United Kingdom, and numerous other European destinations to name a few. She’s also a foodie and appreciates the art of fashion, and she is looking forward to a time in the not-too-distant future when we can all get dressed up, dine-out, and travel again!
Meet some of our other ChiWIP members here!
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