Miranda Jones, partner, Heim, Payne & Chorush
Location: Houston, Texas
What’s something people would be surprised to know about you?
While serving as a law clerk at the Federal Circuit, one of my co-clerks invited me to take horseback riding lessons. After work, a group of us would head over to Rock Creek Park where the National Park Service runs a horseback riding center. I had never ridden as a child, but it quickly turned into an all-consuming hobby that led to leasing a horse, buying my own horses, and competing over fences. Now my entire family except my youngest children, who aren’t of riding age yet, have competed in nationally rated hunter-jumper competitions, including my husband.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
I really try not to have pet peeves, but if I had to name one, it would be being late. I’m always on time. I tend to get annoyed when things run late because it throws off my schedule for the rest of the day. That said, I’m trying to be more flexible and not to miss unscheduled moments that are nonetheless important.
What advice would you give a woman starting out in law?
I clerked for Judge Pauline Newman early in my career. She was very influential in shaping how I want to present myself as a lawyer. Judge Newman is a such a warm, polite, and quiet person, but at the same time she firmly stands her ground and isn’t shy about challenging majority-held views. As many IP practitioners know, Judge Newman is a prolific dissenter; she always has her say. I would tell a woman starting out in the law to find her voice and to make sure that she’s heard.
What’s a current goal you’re working toward? (Personal or professional)
I’m extremely goal-oriented, and I have many goals both personally and professionally. One of my professional goals for 2018-2019 is trying to write more articles and speak on IP topics that interest me. I miss the process of researching, condensing my thoughts on a topic, writing and speaking.
How have you gone about making connections? What drives you?
One thing that has been surprising to me recently is how many connections I have made outside of the legal functions. Talking to other parents at my children’s activities, at horse shows, and at other social events have led to many connections with inventors and potential clients.
The passage of the America Invents Act and Section 101 case law developments regarding patent eligibility have been tough on individual inventors. I believe in the value of those contributions. One of the things that motivates me is the inventors and telling their stories.