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Alexander Kim
Alexander Kim (Submitted photo)

Breaking the Ice: Mentorship, IP diversity efforts bring award

Name: Alexander Kim

Title: Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig

Education: B.S., physics, University of Minnesota; M.S., chemistry, University of Nebraska, Lincoln; J.D., Mitchell Hamline School of Law

As Alexander Kim works to protect clients’ intellectual property rights, he’s also striving to diversify the IP field.

Kim’s leadership of affinity bars and boards and support of lawyers who are traditionally underrepresented in the practice helped earn him a 2021 Hennepin County Bar Association Excellence Award for Mentoring in the Profession.

“People who are very young associates to senior associates at various law firms reach out to me for guidance and mentorship … from someone who’s more senior and asking, ‘You look like me, you have a similar background, how did you get to where you are?’” Kim said.

Kim is on the board of the Minnesota chapter of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association, founded the Korean American Bar Association of Minnesota and is a member of the International Association of Korean Lawyers, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association and Mitchell Hamline School of Law’s Patent Diversity Advisory Group.

Kim attributes his mentoring interest to his love of teaching, including experience teaching undergraduate students when he was in graduate school.

 

Q: Best way to start a conversation with you?

A: Anything geeky gets me going. Anything scientific in the news, anything science fiction and anything about dogs.

Q: Why did you go to law school?

A: My cousin, who is a lawyer, mentioned that I should consider intellectual property law and patent law. I gave it a try and it just worked out. Luck, I guess.

Q: What books are you reading?

A: I used to love reading books as a kid but law school cured me of that habit. I do read to my daughter, so it’s all about Disney princesses. I enjoy audiobooks and am listening to “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck.” It’s an interesting way to look at life. There’s a bit of Daoism involved in there that I can appreciate.

Q: What’s your pet peeve?

A: I hate waiting because I value my time so greatly. I think that’s how my clients feel too so I am extremely responsive.

Q: Best part of your work?

A: Working with my team and my people in the Minneapolis office of Greenberg Traurig. I enjoy and am friends with everyone in the office. To lead a team of so many and trying to grow the team with so many eager, ambitious and smart people, and hard-working and dedicated, is a great honor.

Q: Least favorite?

A: That we have to somehow track every day, every six minutes of what we do.

Q: Favorite activity away from work?

A: I try to spend as much time as possible with my family. But for leisure activities, I discovered archery during the pandemic. I bought a bow, some arrows and I started shooting. Apparently, I’m gifted, because the first time I started shooting, I was hitting bullseyes.

Q: Where would you take someone visiting your hometown?

A: I spent a lot of my youth in Minnetonka and I love the lake. If someone were visiting, I’d take them there.

Q: Legal figure you most admire?

A: My wife. Anna Kim. She’s a lawyer but graduated in 2010 in the recession. It took a lot of effort to become a lawyer during that period and to succeed and going through a pregnancy and being a mom and interviewing while nine months pregnant. My wife and the women who practice in the legal industry and are successful, they are my heroes.

Q: Misconception that others have about your work as an attorney?

A: There is a misconception about what we do in patent law. The practice of patent law requires us to have the best understanding of the patent law as it is today. By the time the patents get litigated over, the laws have probably changed. We can be perfect, but 10 years from today it could be imperfect so that is one of the biggest challenges in our practice.

 

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