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Grace Kim
Grace Kim

2021 Up & Coming Attorneys: Grace Kim

Grace Kim’s path to becoming a principal and leader at Fish & Richardson P.C., a leading global intellectual property law firm, was not straightforward.

Kim, the youngest child of Korean immigrants, loved science and math, and aspired to be a marine biologist as a kid.

Sometimes, though, older siblings can have a life-changing influence on their younger siblings. At least that could be said of Kim’s older brother, David. First, he talked Kim out of her plan to become a marine biologist since she wished to stay in Minnesota. Then, having started his own career in engineering, he encouraged Kim to pursue engineering in college.

After graduating with a degree in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota, Kim started working as a medical device engineer at Boston Scientific, earning her master’s degree in mechanical engineering while working there.

Her role in Boston Scientific’s research and development group piqued her interest in patents. After becoming excited about her own patent filings there, Kim decided a career in patent law would be the perfect match for her expertise and personality, and soon found herself graduating from what is now Mitchell Hamline School of Law.

Not long afterwards, Kim started at Fish and began developing a split patent practice. One part of Kim’s practice is focused on patent prosecution, helping her clients to pursue patent protection. The other part involves an adversarial post-grant practice before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.

What makes her equally happy is doing her work at a firm that values not only her work life, but also her personal life. The married mother of two young children is proud that Fish & Richardson was been named one of the best firms for women by Working Women magazine in 2020. The firm has been recognized nationally for its work in all aspects of diversity and inclusion, which Kim works on, too, as a mentor to young attorneys and through her involvement on the executive board of the Minnesota chapter of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association.

“I do feel an obligation to give back,” Kim said. “Especial.ly when it comes to promoting people of color, particularly women, specifically women in patent law.”

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