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Shui Li
Shui Li (Submitted photo)

2021 Up & Coming Attorneys: Shui Li

While studying for a master’s degree in chemistry at the University of Minnesota, Shui Li researched drugs intended for cancer treatment. The university and her research team worked with attorneys on patenting their discoveries.

Learning about patent law led to a new career. “I thought at the time if I became a patent lawyer, then my science background would be helpful,” she said. Today, Li works as an as.sociate at Robins Kaplan LLP, focusing her practice on patent, trademark and copyright issues. She enjoys many aspects of law, including public presentations, writing for different audiences and managing workflow for her team.

Among Li’s achievements was participating in a relatively new patent review process. Clients present cases before the U.S. Patent Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board over the “derivation” of inventions. “I think the most important thing was it gave our client a chance to engage in a conversation, bring them to the table and litigate this issue that otherwise would have been too expensive to litigate in court,” she said.

Li maintains an active volunteer portfolio as a member of the Twin Cities Diversity in Practice Board, which added seminars and presentations last year after the civil unrest following George Floyd’s murder. Recently, she joined the fintech editorial board of Law360, where she provides insight on how to best provide coverage of regulatory and intellectual property issues.

Minnesota has become home. “I grew up in Beijing, but I like the Midwest, which is almost different in every way from my home,” Li said. “But I find it really resonates with me. I like the area. I like nature, and the people. And the Minneapolis area is a great place.”

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