Stefani Shanberg of Morrison & Foerster served as lead trial counsel for Google, BlackBerry, Lenovo and Motorola at the U.S. International Trade Commission, and knocked out the case employing a seldom-used program for getting an early determination on patent-eligible subject matter.
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?
Sadly, less. My own experience in the tech industry—and particularly in law firms servicing the industry—has been positive. Recently, with people more openly vocalizing their biases of all kinds, I have been discouraged to realize the extent of the problem. I remain optimistic that we can solve this problem together. The majority of the team that moved with me from Wilson Sonsini to Morrison & Foerster earlier this year is women, and I am confident in each of their prospects individually and in helping to solve the larger problem.
Do lawyers bear any special responsibility in addressing gender stereotyping and discrimination in tech?
We all have a responsibility—female or male, lawyer or nonlawyer—to encourage people to be the best version of themselves and to foster diversity of all kinds. I do think law firms can lead by example.
Who’s the best leader you’ve seen in action and why?
Gregg Popovich. The Spurs five-time-champion head coach is both loved and feared, a difficult combination to master! He cultivates and leads a diverse group of individuals. Pop has maintained consistent success while enduring changes and challenge for over 20 years.
If I weren’t working in tech, I’d be …