Chloe Hecht is living proof that passion, flexibility, and relationship management are some of the most important aspects of a successful legal career, and as Senior Counsel for the National Association of REALTORS®, she would know. Chloe discovered her love of law while working towards another ambitious goal—graduate school. While sitting in her bacteriology class at the University of Madison-Wisconsin, Chloe never imagined that she would want to be anything other than a lab immunologist. Fortunately, her professor introduced her class to a Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation patent attorney. Chloe’s professor had the attorney talk about his career, and from that moment on a light bulb went off for Chloe. To her, an attorney who helped scientists sounded infinitely better than a scientist with limited human interaction stuck in a lab 24/7. Chloe immediately switched gears. She studied for the LSAT, enrolled at DePaul University College of Law, and prepared to become a successful patent attorney.
But there is another twist in this story. While still in law school, Chloe realized that patent law was not her passion. Even though others told her that she was a “perfect fit” for patent work with her science background, Chloe had the foresight to realize that she could not build a successful law practice based upon others’ aspirations for her. The good news is, Chloe took the calculated risk of taking a non-patent related summer internship at Ladas & Parry LLP practicing trademark and cyber law. Chloe went on to build a successful trademark practice over the next eight years at Ladas & Parry, as well as Norvell IP.
For Chloe, dedication and an open mind are a huge part of her successful journey, but so is maintaining meaningful relationships within the field. Chloe learned about an opening at the National Association of Realtors through one of her former law school colleagues. At first, Chloe was skeptical that her practice would be relevant to the position (trademarks were listed dead last on the job description), but through her law school connection Chloe learned that her dedication and trademark expertise were exactly what the National Association of REALTORS® needed. Thus, Chloe brought her significant amount of IP experience with her to the National Association of REALTORS®, where after a few short years she was promoted to the role of Senior Counsel.
Chloe is passionate about her current role because more than half of her work remains copyright and trademark-based, but a significant portion of her work involves collaborative problem solving with business groups, with the goal of supporting and promoting NAR’s 1.2 million members. As Senior Counsel, Chloe advises every level of the REALTOR® family, including state and local associations. The National Association of REALTORS® generates a significant volume of printed materials to reach its massive member base, and part of Chloe’s role is generating risk management materials in the form of printed publications, legal presentations to state and local associations, and videos and webinars. One of Chloe’s roles includes being Chair of the Legal Action Committee. In this role she supports a volunteer group of members that decide which legal battles are most important to the overall industry and delegate funding accordingly.
What Chloe enjoys best about being Senior Counsel is that her job is to essentially help business people succeed in doing what they love. It is a far cry from the assumed contentious, risk-averse legal field. The National Association of REALTORS®’ membership is well-informed, exceedingly helpful and friendly, and working hand-in-hand is part of the organization’s culture.
Chloe’s advice to others in the process of building a successful legal practice is that substance is important, but so are meaningful connections. That is one of the reasons she enjoys being a member of ChiWIP and serves as a member of its In-House Advisory Board. The Annual Dinner is her favorite ChiWIP event because each year she has the chance to renew old connections, including a past dinner where her former law professor moderated her round table discussion. She also believes that a great attorney will work as a “counselor” in the true sense of the term and go out of the way to make clients and colleagues feel heard and comfortable while working together.
Chloe says that she always feels bad answering questions about her hobbies because she does not have any great hidden talents, but in her spare time she loves spending time with her family and friends, relaxing, being outdoors, and cuddling with her 12 year old rescue pug. Sounds great to us, Chloe! Thanks for all that you do for ChiWIP.
Meet some of our other ChiWIP members here!
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