Maria Maras, Associate Director at Accenture, earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Chicago and then graduated from Harvard Law School. At Accenture, Maria manages IP investigations, disputes, and litigation all over the world. Maria notes that Accenture is a lot bigger than people realize. With over 700,000 employees, Accenture is larger than many countries! Maria enjoys being involved in all of it.
Maria’s interest in IP piqued when her dad, also an attorney, flagged the field for her. After law school, Maria worked in the Chicago office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. She enjoyed being a part of the IP department’s tight-knit group and working at the cutting edge of technology.
In January 2024, Maria celebrated a decade of being in-house. Maria says it was an adjustment to go from working at a law firm to working for a large corporation with a presence in 120 countries. Given the global nature of her work, she has partnered, and developed friendships, with Accenture colleagues in many different countries. She appreciates that Accenture has a large legal team here in Chicago with whom she can network and collaborate.
Law students, Maria has advice for you: build relationships with your professors. Those relationships can be a source of joy and support down the road. Also, have fun! This is the time to take a little break, get yourself a nice book to read for enjoyment, and do something for yourself. Maria performed in and produced the Harvard Law School Parody, an original annual musical, with her classmates.
To her younger lawyer self, Maria says be bold and be curious. Every situation will teach you something new as a young associate. At the end of the day, find ways to get things done—be a problem solver and let the creative juices flow.
To everyone, Maria’s advice is to work on communicating and nurturing friendships at work, having good judgment, and maintaining a good ethical and moral compass to guide your decisions. These are essential to managing the stress of the legal field and keeping your love for your work thriving.
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