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Jessica Gutierrez
Jessica Gutierrez

2021 Up & Coming Attorneys: Jessica Gutierrez

Arizona native Jessica Gutierrez began her post-college career as a civil engineer, working on airport design in Colorado. After a couple of years in that field, she decided on a career change and enrolled in Hamline University Law School in St. Paul. She now uses her combination of skills and expertise as a rising associate in Robins Kaplan’s Intellectual Property and Technology Litigation Group.

Gutierrez, who previously worked for the Winthrop & Weinstein and Schwegman law firms, enjoys “the juxtaposition of the technical aspects and big, complex legal cases. As soon as I started working with intellectual property attorneys, I realized that it is a really good fit for me. Our clients really rely on that combination of engineering and legal expertise.”

The development of the internet has been a transformational force in every industry and enterprise, but it has been especially impactful in the intellectual property arena, she notes. IP attorneys everywhere have spent a good share of their time and energy on internet-related cases, as that area has developed into a separate subset of copyright law, she says.

Robins Kaplan has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in copyright cases. But “we have a tendency to take on ‘David and Goliath’ cases. It’s satisfying helping the ‘little guy’ because it feels like you’re fighting for someone who needs it.”

Gutierrez enjoys being involved in a variety of pro bono legal work. For two years, she has coached the International Patent Drafting Competition Team at St. Thomas School of Law, which won first place in an international competition. She was also recently involved in helping an African immigrant client obtain an order for protection from an abusive spouse, and winning the case on appeal in state court. “It’s been really incredible to see our client grow and move on from the situation she came to us with.”

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