This month we celebrate ChiWIP's newly-appointed Chair and co-founder, Nikki Little. Nikki’s dedication to helping others in the legal community rise and succeed is remarkable: she co-founded ChiWIP and has re-invigorated the mentoring program at Fitch Even, where she is a partner. Her approach is an inclusive one, with an emphasis on supporting not just lawyers of a particular age and demographic, but also law students, paralegals, litigation experts, and tech transfer and marketing professionals, among others.
Her passion for mentorship stems from her own experiences. “I’ve had some great mentors, which I think has contributed greatly to my success,” she says. She now works hard to make sure others benefit from own knowledge and skill set.
Nikki is a litigator with a background in chemical engineering, and her matters range from patents, trademarks, unfair competition, and trade secrets to contract disputes and business torts. She relies on deft writing skills to assert and defend her clients’ intellectual property rights, with a strong ability to efficiently get her point across. She excels at keeping her team on task and making sure matters move forward smoothly and on time.
Nikki’s trial experience has led to many successes for her clients. “It’s always very satisfying to get that win for your client,” she says. But perhaps her proudest accomplishment is co-founding ChiWIP. To Nikki, ChiWIP filled an unmet need in the Chicago legal market, creating a space for women in intellectual property in various capacities to meet and help each other advance. Clearly, the women of Chicago agree. For the first ChiWIP event, Nikki says she thought maybe 50 people would attend. “Over 100 women showed up,” she says. “The hype hasn’t died down yet.”
Promoting the Success of Women in IP
Nikki’s suggestion for advancing women in IP is to tout each other’s strengths and accomplishments whenever we can, both externally and within our own firms or organizations. To her, this is an easy step that goes a long way. Looking to the future, she hopes to see more women on executive committees and in positions of leadership.
Nikki loves cooking and eating, which is part of the reason she loves Chicago: its excellent food scene. She also likes running, yoga, and traveling. This summer, she is heading to Mackinac Island with her family to enjoy some fudge, bike rides, and hopefully sunshine.
Meet some of our other ChiWIP members here!
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