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Breaking the Ice: Fish & Richardson leader hopes to be example

Todd Nelson//August 10, 2023

Jennifer Huang

Jennifer Huang oversees operations in an office that serves as Fish & Richardson’s administrative hub. (Submitted photo)

Breaking the Ice: Fish & Richardson leader hopes to be example

Todd Nelson//August 10, 2023

Jennifer Huang hopes her new role as managing principal of Fish & Richardson’s Minneapolis office will add to opportunities for others in the legal profession.

Huang oversees operations in an office that serves as Fish’s administrative hub and has more than 30 lawyers and 350 administrative staff. A Minnesota native, Huang is a diversity and inclusion leader at Fish and previously co-chaired the firm’s Asian Affinity Group.

“It’s important for young women and for diverse talent and developing attorneys to see women and people of diverse backgrounds in positions of leadership,” Huang said. “Not only is it inspiring, I hope, but it also creates, hopefully, a path for others to follow. It reminds me to do a good job in the role and continue to expand opportunities for others.”

In what now is a hybrid workplace, Huang is having small groups of attorneys and technical specialists meet for lunch, to get to know each other and perhaps find opportunities to collaborate.

Name: Jennifer J. Huang

Title: Managing principal, Fish & Richardson’s Minneapolis office

Education: B.E., electrical engineering, University of Minnesota; J.D., University of Minnesota Law School

Q: Best way to start a conversation with you?

A: Ask me about my kids. They just turned 1, and they’re the loves of my life. They’re just amazing. My husband and I are just obsessed with them. They’re twins, as you may have guessed.

Q: Why law school?

A: I was always interested in math and science. I did speech in high school and coached it in college. I did mock trial in high school. But I studied engineering, knowing that I had options. I did a couple of summers interning and had a great experience. But I felt the draw of law school into my junior year and thought that would make sense. A great mentor and professor at the University of Minnesota put me in contact with a patent attorney that he’d worked with before. That introduced me to patent law. It was a good marriage and my strengths and my interests.

Q: Pet peeve?

A: Costco on weekends. I love Costco. I love weekends. But I don’t know that I love Costco on weekends. It could be distilled to a frustration with a lot of people lacking self-awareness while they’re shopping. There are carts everywhere blocking every aisle to get a little free sample.

Q: Best part of your work?

A: Collaborating with really smart and good people, my colleagues at Fish and my clients. It’s incredibly rewarding to work with the brightest minds and see that they’re also good people and humble while also being brilliant.

Q: Most challenging?

A: Trying to find more than 24 hours in the day. I don’t need that much sleep. I benefit from that. But still, there’s never enough time.

Q: Favorite activity away from work?

A: Spending time with my family. Every day is an adventure, especially right now.

Q: Where would you take someone visiting your hometown?

A: I’m from Circle Pines, just north of the Cities. My parents still live there. There are lots of really pretty walking paths around there, a lot of nature, so I’d probably take them on a walk on one of these paths and enjoy the quiet.

Q: Legal figure you admire?

A: Karl Renner (Fish & Richardson principal who works in Washington, D.C., and Dallas). He’s the chair of our post-grant group, and that’s a big part of my practice. He’s incredibly resilient. He’s brilliant, patient and thoughtful. Every time I think I’m busy, I remind myself that Karl is busier. He makes time for everybody, despite being that busy. He has a wonderful perspective on practice and life in general. Whenever I need advice, I know I can turn to him for level-headed and thoughtful feedback.

Q: Favorite book, movie or TV show about lawyers?

A: “Better Call Saul.” I should probably watch the finale again. When it came out, we watched it with newborn babies. It’s super well-written, clever and well-acted. And surprisingly accurate. There are lots of nuances that are well depicted on that show.

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