When it comes to innovation, women haven’t always received the recognition they deserve. At Founders Legal, we believe that all innovators, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and diverse experiences, deserve equal opportunity and recognition. We are proud to work with numerous women-powered businesses, innovators, and legal trailblazers to help them realize their goals. By supporting and promoting women in innovation, we hope to encourage even more women to pursue their dreams and make a lasting impact in their industries.
FoundHERs™ in the Legal Industry
It’s no secret that the legal profession has been woefully underrepresented by a variety of demographics, including women. However, we’re seeing change. Women now account for more than 54% of students pursuing a Juris Doctorate degree. This is fantastic news, but there’s still room for improvement.
The gender gap in intellectual property law and STEM-related niches is apparent. Women’s inclusion and empowerment in this area are not only critical for business, but also for the advancement of equality and opportunity in our society.
A 2020 article of Landslide® Magazine, published by the American Bar Association, reports that women only account for 21.8% of USPTO registered attorneys and agents.
CHANGE STARTS FROM WITHIN
We know that a diverse perspective is important to staying ahead of the curve and providing our clients with the best possible service. We are committed to increasing diversity in our business and are delighted to collaborate with truly outstanding women attorneys, paralegals, legal professionals, and administrative professionals.
Meet the FoundHERs™ of Founders Legal®
KENNINGTON GROFF, Esq.
Kennington Groff is an intellectual property, corporate, entertainment, and sports attorney at Founders Legal. She joined the team in February 2022 with core competencies in brand strategy, trademark and copyright registration, maintenance and enforcement, and general counsel assistance. Kennington brings a wealth of experience in the entertainment industry and she previously worked with top entertainment executives at HBO, NBCUniversal, and Lionsgate in their business and legal affairs offices in Los Angeles and New York City. In addition to her legal work, Kennington’s diverse background includes experience as a Clips Producer on Season 4 of Weather Gone Viral for The Weather Channel, where she was responsible for selecting, clearing and licensing viral weather footage for the show.
Kennington is a highly organized and motivated individual with a strong work ethic, who brings a unique blend of legal and industry experience to her clients. She is dedicated to registering, protecting, enforcing, and defending the rights of individuals and companies throughout the United States and abroad. Kennington is a J.D. graduate from Pepperdine Law, and holds Bachelors of Arts degrees in Journalism and Public Relations and Spanish from The University of Georgia.
Kennington is also a dedicated volunteer and has a history of supporting great causes. She advocates for the welfare of animals and supports local businesses volunteering with Buckhead Business Association and Taste of Buckhead. Formerly, she mentored high school students preparing for moot court and drafted declarations to help clients obtain court-approved temporary restraining orders as a Legal Volunteer with LACBA Domestic Violence Legal Services Project.
Kennington says, “Don’t give up on your motivation and passions…”
“I think the biggest obstacle in the field of law, and not just intellectual property specifically, is that we still get mistaken for the secretary or paralegal on the phone.
When I first began practicing, I did not include a picture on my signature block of my email because I did not want people to see that 1) I was young and 2) a woman as my name is fairly gender neutral. I wanted my work to speak for itself and then whenever a phone call came up, there was not a lot to question when it came to my ability and skill level.
Even today when I take inbound leads coming to the firm, I still have a small handful of people that “clarify” several times when the conversation begins that they are speaking with an attorney. Some even ask for qualifications as if they don’t believe the response they are hearing. While this is not the norm for me as much anymore, it can still be easily heard in a voice through the phone when it does occur.”
“Go for it. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people who do the job you want to have.”
There is a stigma with women sometimes where certain women feel there is only room for one at the table. I don’t think this is a good thought process to have, nor does it lift up other women trying to join the field.
“I am always happy to speak with people who reach out to me and show an interest in the type of work I do. Further, oftentimes I feel like when women are searching for a job, women feel like they have to tick every box under the requirements, so we don’t even apply. I recommend if you have a genuine interest in a job opportunity you come across to apply. Sometimes the right resume and personality can overcome any boxes not ticked.”
“I think we see more and more women starting their own businesses today than we have in the past. Women are more willing to take the risk now more than ever even if it is just a side hustle they begin to build. With that, I think there are a lot of females out there who want to be represented by a female attorney or just give back to another female working in the modern world.”
“Keep going. There are plenty of people that want to help and guide you along the way. I think women take a rejection harder than men and we over analyze what we did wrong or what we need to do the next time around. We often feel the imposter syndrome taking over, but in reality, you have just as much right to be in the room and bring a different set of skills than the person standing next to you. Keep working hard, don’t give up and your motivation and passions for your work will come through.”
Merri Brami is an accomplished and highly skilled paralegal professional with a distinguished career in Intellectual Property law. She joined the team at Founders Legal in June 2019, bringing a wealth of patent practice expertise across various industries, including electrical, mechanical, and software. She is a vital asset to the Founders Legal team, collaborating closely with attorneys, clients, and foreign counsel to ensure the efficient and effective handling of intellectual property matters. Merri is proficient in preparing a wide range of U.S. patent applications, including provisionals, non-provisionals, continuations, divisionals, Continuation-In-Part, National Stage, PCT, and Design Hague, as well as Assignments, Information Disclosure Statements, Amendments, AFCPs, RCEs, Petitions, and other miscellaneous filings to correct the record with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Additionally, Merri possesses technical proficiency in revising formal drawings using Visio.
Kelsey Logan is a paralegal specializing in trademarks and has been a valuable member of the Founders Legal team since March 2022. She is a “momager” of 3 kiddos who returned to the workforce after spending 8 years successfully managing a busy household. After earning her bachelor’s in Communication with a minor in Spanish from Messiah University she worked with at-risk youth in an education and career development program. She has a wealth of experience including recruiting, training, and she served as the operations manager of a technical support team for a “health IT” startup in San Francisco. In her free time, you can find her at the local Barre studio, reading a book, or at concerts and live shows with her husband.
Tanvi Shah is a highly experienced accountancy and finance professional. She has called Georgia home for over 30 years and graduated from Georgia State University with a Bachelor’s in Accounting and Finance. Tanvi joined the Founders Legal team in April 2019 and manages all in-house accounting and bookkeeping functions, also including human resources activities. Her attention to detail and organizational skills make her an asset to the firm, ensuring that the financials are accurate and up-to-date. In her leisure time, she enjoys reading murder mystery novels, with Agatha Christie being one of her favorite authors, watching horror movies, and playing poker, even though she admits she’s not particularly good at it. Tanvi is the mother of two beautiful girls and values quality time spent with family and friends.
Leticia Rebollar is a dynamic professional that brings a wealth of experience in administrative support and joined Founders Legal in December 2022. Prior to joining the team, Leticia worked at Randstad, where she participated in a program that provided career services to vulnerable and disadvantaged women in the local community. While Leticia found she did not have a true passion for staffing, she was thrilled to help non-native English speakers learn the skills and confidence to succeed in their career search. Leticia is also an active volunteer and currently assists a woman-owned and operated farm located in Douglasville, Georgia at various local Farmers Markets. She is on a passionate mission to build awareness of local, seasonal, organic food by providing quality, ethical certified organic produce to the local community.
FoundHERs™ in INNOVATION
From startups to billion-dollar companies, it’s encouraging to see the trends of women-powered businesses on the rise. Research even suggests a correlation between women in leadership roles and the increase in a company’s profitability.
By 2019, the STEM proportion had increased to 27%.
WOMEN IN BUSINESS
Women-owned businesses generate around $1.5 trillion in revenue.
From Josephine Cochrane’s invention of a mechanical dishwasher to Stephanie Kwolek’s creation of Kevlar, women have been responsible for a wide range of inventions with a profound impact on the world. And yet, while diversity within inventorship is improving over time, the number of women inventors is still relatively low.
Only 22% of U.S. patents list a woman as an inventor. Additionally, women represented less than 13% of all inventors listed on patents as recently as 2019. Learn more from the USPTO report: Where are the US women patentees? Assessing 3 decades of growth.
Examining the data on women entrepreneurs and inventors emphasizes the need for greater advocacy and support as we work together to close the gaps in underrepresented areas.
WOMEN in BUSINESS & TECH
As a law firm that works with innovative clients, we feel inspired daily by the women who are pushing boundaries and leading the forefront of innovation. From high-tech founders to innovative philanthropists to the counsel that keeps their company moving forward, these women fearlessly challenge the status quo.
ARE YOU A FOUNDHER?
Whether you are a legal professional or business owner, we are excited to celebrate your successes at every stage.
If you would like to learn more about our firm, career opportunities, or how we can serve your business, please contact us. We would be honored to serve as your trusted partner or colleagues on the journey toward success, growth, and progress.