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Victoria Maroulis Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan. (Photo: Jason Doiy)

Victoria Maroulis, the managing partner of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan’s Silicon Valley office, has long been a go-to lawyer for Samsung. She recently obtained an anti-suit injunction barring rival Huawei from enforcing two injunction orders issued by a Chinese court against Samsung in patent infringement proceedings.

Name an important opportunity you got early in your career and what you did with it.

As a junior associate, I was given an opportunity to write and argue an appeal in the second highest appellate court of New York on an important issue regarding presence of lead paint in low-income housing. By the time the argument got finally scheduled, I was nine months pregnant with my first child. I knew the case was of utmost importance to the clients and went ahead with the argument. A few months later, we got a unanimous reversal in our clients’ favor.

Name a lawyer whose work you admire and why?

Stanford Law School professor Mark Lemley. He finds time to write, teach, and practice law and his body of work on IP issues is one of the most prolific in our generation.

What’s the best piece of career advice anyone ever gave you?

My favorite career advice is actually a Russian proverb: “If you call yourself a mushroom, jump into the basket.” It loosely means if you hold yourself out as an expert in something, or make a claim about your skills, you have to prove yourself, no matter the challenges.

What’s one way you’ve had to change your thinking toward practicing law to succeed with tech industry clients?

Litigation spend is a burden on most tech clients because they would rather spend the money developing new technologies; no matter how good the outcome of the case, it had to have been attained in a cost-efficient manner.

What’s the best part about working in the tech sector?

Seeing the development of technological and scientific breakthroughs in real time and being able to help clients protect those innovations.

What’s the biggest challenge?

The technology changes very quickly and it is important to keep up. You never stop learning.

What piece of advice do you give to lawyers considering a career in tech law?

Learn as much as you can about your clients’ business, products and technology.

What’s one way technology has made your life easier?

The automated driving directions.

One way it’s made your life more difficult?

Being available 24/7 via our smartphones is both a blessing and a curse.

No. 1 survival tip in a work crisis:

Keep calm and figure out the facts quickly.

In 50 words or less, how far has the tech industry gone toward tackling its gender gap since you started practicing?

Tech and tech law are still dominated by men, but it’s changing. I recently tried a patent case where I examined on direct a female president of a major medical device company; she was cross-examined by a female opposing counsel and female ITC staff attorney. It was the first time I have seen it personally and it felt like progress.

What’s one area of technology that you’re most excited about and why?

I look forward to advances in immunotherapy because it has potential to save millions of lives.

Ross Todd

Ross Todd is bureau chief of The Recorder in San Francisco. He writes about litigation in the Bay Area and around California. Contact Ross at rtodd@alm.com. On Twitter: @Ross_Todd.

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