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Alycia Morell
Alycia Morell

2022 Unsung Legal Heroes: Alycia Morell

Fish & Richardson P.C.

Alycia Morell attributes her success managing the National Patent Paralegal Team (NPPT) at Fish & Richardson P.C. to her colleagues’ willingness to allow her to fail.

Morell, who was a paralegal herself for several Twin Cities law firms earlier in her career, joined Fish & Richardson in 2015 initially as the patent prosecution trainer where she was responsible for the training of paralegals and patent assistants.

Among other things, her team is responsible for the firm’s information disclosure statement  docket and preparation, which are submitted during the patent application process. The number of complaints from legal staff when problems with the information on these forms is discovered has decreased dramatically since she has focused on training. “I attribute that to having a good supervisor team in place and standardized training, mentoring and shadowing,” she said.

Her team’s responsibilities have expanded, and staff has more than doubled in the last three years to 45 paralegals. This has led Morell to initiate new systems that make their work more efficient and save the firm money.

“Alycia’s leadership skills, subject matter expertise and the camaraderie she has fostered in her team have all helped to ensure a smooth expansion of the NPPT, a reduction in error rate and a substantial rise in the range of services offered,” said Morell’s supervisor, Jana Ottmar, director of patent support and operations.

“One of the things I can’t appreciate enough about Jana is she allows you to fail,” Morell said. “She loves to encourage big ideas. She gives you that freedom and psychological safety. The trust that she has in me — that freedom to be able to fail and try things all in the name of improvement, efficiency and doing what’s best for the clients — is really rewarding.”

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