Catherine Polizzi of Morrison & Foerster has represented Medivation as patent counsel for more than a decade since its inception and created its patent strategy and portfolio­—a portfolio that helped drive the company’s value, resulting in a $14 billion acquisition by Pfizer Inc. in August 2016.

If I could change one thing about working in tech, it would be …

To allow people to create without worrying too much about making mistakes along the way.

Who’s the best leader you’ve seen in action and why?

There is not one leader who stands out head and shoulders above the rest for me. But leaders share attributes that I strive to emulate. They inspire, they create, they are inclusive. And their crowning achievement is that they bring out the best in others and make the whole far more than the sum of its parts.

If I weren’t working in tech, I’d be …

A writer.

The No. 1 issue that keeps me and my clients up at night is …

Whether the endeavor that means so much to them will succeed.

What piece of advice do you have for young lawyers in tech?

Do your best. Care about what you do deeply and care about others.

After the events that have rocked Silicon Valley this year, are you more or less hopeful about the prospects for women in the tech industry?

I am more than hopeful; I expect prospects for women in the tech industry to continue to expand and grow.

—Ross Todd