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Jill Wright
Jill Wright

2019 Unsung Legal Heroes: Jill Wright

You get the feeling Jill Wright was happier when she was still an unsung hero.

“It’s kind of embarrassing,” she said of the accolade. “I don’t really like that kind of attention.”

She might be shy, but that doesn’t mean she’s no rock star. Her job at the busy intellectual property law firm Fish & Richardson is high-stakes, high-stress work. As a patent paralegal with oversight of some the firm’s key biotech and biopharma startup clients, Wright must balance staff attorneys’ day-to-day prosecution dockets with detail-intensive, confidential due diligence requests.

She also must help properly execute filings and ensure that procedural formalities are attended to in multiple international jurisdictions — Wright handles more than 60. It’s not unusual, she said, to get 10 emails from clients simultaneously, each demanding to be made her top priority.

Yet she always keeps a clear head and calm attitude and even finds time to share her knowledge with her younger peers.

Her bosses say she relishes the challenge of working with clients who make the work better with life-saving drugs and therapies. Her efforts have paid off for the firm, which hired her right out of college nearly two decades ago. Over the past six years, Wright has been involved in biotech portfolios worth more than $20 billion in deal value. About $10 billion of that came in just the past six months.

Wright appreciates being recognized, but the truth is she would rather just let her work speak for itself. “At least I don’t have to do a speech or anything,” she said.

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