Making Better Lawyers by Fostering Diversity and Inclusion in the Legal Profession (RECORDING)

Through this webinar, IPO is proud to launch its Version 3.0 of Section 201 of the Practical Guide to Diversity and Inclusion in the Legal Profession.  In this webinar, IPO diversity committee leaders will provide practical insights and tips to lawyers who seek to improve their practices by becoming better stewards of diversity and inclusion in the profession.  After introducing various critical concepts and tools from the IPO Practical Guide, we will have a discussion with Sophia Piliouras, Chief Operating Officer of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, who will share insights on how the tools of the IPO Practical Guide to Diversity & Inclusion can help all of us be better attorneys, while allowing us to foster meaningful diversity and inclusion in the process.  Participants will have an opportunity to engage, ask questions, and learn how they can use the Practical Guide to take immediate action on this crucial topic.

Webinar sponsored by Harrity & Harrity LLP and Steptoe & Johnson

Serena Farquharson-Torres

Executive Director, Assistant General Counsel, Innovation Law

Bristol-Meyers Squibb Company

Serena Farquharson-Torres is a highly experienced and accomplished leader in the intellectual property field and in the pharmaceutical and consumer healthcare industry.   Serena is Executive Director & Assistant General Counsel at Bristol Myers Squibb where she has held various roles of increasing responsibility in the Intellectual Property/ Innovation Law group since joining the company in 2016.  Serena is one of the Co-Vice Chairs of IPO’s D&I committee and has chaired the BMS Law Department’s D&I Committee. Prior to joining Bristol Myers Squibb, she was Senior Patent Counsel at Merck and then Sanofi.  Before joining Merck, she worked in private practice at Kenyon & Kenyon.  Serena has significant experience in all aspects of patent practice including prosecution, counseling, and pharmaceutical licensing and acquisitions.   Serena received her J.D. from the University of North Carolina, her Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry from University of Minnesota, and her B.S. in Chemistry from Howard University. 

Sophia Piliouras

Chief Operating Officer

Minority Corporate Counsel Association

Sophia M. Piliouras is Chief Operating Officer at the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA). As a senior member of the leadership team, Sophia is responsible for human resources; information technology; events and programming; strategic relations and membership. Sophia joined MCCA in 2016 as Senior Counsel, Director of Education and Research and most recently served as President of the MCCA Advisory Practice (MAP) where she partnered closely with MCCA’s members in increasing the impact, effectiveness and sustainability of their organization’s diversity, equity and inclusion strategic plans. Prior to joining MCCA, Sophia was Vice President, Assistant General Counsel at JP Morgan Chase of the Consumer & Community Banking Regulatory, Operations and Controls team (CCB ROC). Sophia also practiced as litigation attorney at Seyfarth Shaw LLP where she represented clients in consumer financial services litigation. Sophia has spoken at numerous conferences and programs on diversity, equity and inclusion in corporate America and currently serves as Trustee on the Foundation for Advancement of Diversity in IP Law Board. Sophia holds a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin, a J.D. New York Law School where she served as the United Nations Editor for the New York Law School Journal of Human Rights and an M.S. from Columbia University.

Elaine Spector


Harrity & Harrity, LLP

Elaine Spector is a patent attorney with over 20 years of experience in intellectual property law.  Her current practice consists primarily of prosecuting patent applications with a focus on electromechanical technologies. Prior to joining Harrity & Harrity, Elaine worked in private practice for over 15 years handling various intellectual property matters, including patent application drafting and prosecution, trademark prosecution and enforcement, as well as litigating complex patent cases in federal courts. Elaine’s extensive litigation experience provides her with a unique perspective in prosecuting patent applications.

Christopher Suarez


Steptoe & Johnson LLP

Christopher Suarez is an Associate at the firm Steptoe & Johnson LLP. He focuses his practice on high-tech patent, copyright, and trade secret trials and appeals before every level of the US court system, including federal district courts, US courts of appeals, the US Supreme Court, the US Patent Trial and Appeal Board, and other administrative tribunals. He represents clients in a wide range of industries and a variety of electronic technologies. Chris has represented high-tech clients at the intersection of antitrust and IP, including in Fair Reasonable and Non Discriminatory (FRAND) litigation. He also assists clients in the life sciences industry, including in Hatch-Waxman patent litigation. Chris is a member of IPO’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee.


Making Better Lawyers by Fostering Diversity and Inclusion in the Legal Profession (RECORDING)
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