Anne M. Schneiderman, Ph.D., Law Offices of Anne Schneiderman and Of Counsel to Wall Marjama & Bilinski, LLP by LawCrossing

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                            Anne M. Schneiderman, Ph.D., Law Offices of
                            Anne Schneiderman and Of Counsel to Wall
                            Marjama & Bilinski, LLP
                            [by Regan Morris]
                            Biologist and patent attorney Anne M. Schneiderman decided to go to law school at age 42 after building
                            a successful career as a scientist. Now she runs her own successful biotech law firm and recently became
                            Of Counsel with Wall Marjama & Bilinski, LLP.


With multiple degrees from various Ivy            Schneiderman, who also works as a yoga            aging. To paraphrase Dear Abby: You’re going
League schools, including a Ph.D. in              instructor in the evenings, said she is drawn     to be three years older anyway, so you might
neurobiology from Harvard University,             toward professional change and constant           as well try something new.
Schneiderman could easily have remained           challenges. With science, she said, she
in the world of scientific academia. But          spent too much of her time writing grants         “I’ve noticed that my law colleagues, like my
Schneiderman was drawn to the flexibility         for funding. And when her contract position       science colleagues, fall into two camps: the
of the law and the opportunity to combine         at Cornell was set to expire, she knew she        ones that are adventurous, entrepreneurial,
her legal and scientific skills in the world of   would probably have to move to take on a job      and aren’t scared to do something and the
patent law.                                       somewhere else as a professor. That’s when        ones who are,” she said, adding that many
                                                  she decided to go to Stanford Law School.         of her colleagues in science and law warned
Although Wall Marjama is based in Syracuse,                                                         her not to start her own firm.
NY, Schneiderman works from the firm’s            “When I was applying for grants 0 years
Ithaca office and her own office, the Law         ago, it was usually less than 0-percent          With Wall Marjama, Schneiderman
Offices of Anne M. Schneiderman. Her              acceptance, so you had to write a lot of          telecommutes from her own office and
practice focuses on patent procurement            grants,” she said. “The thing I love about the    occasionally makes the one-hour drive to the
for high-tech clients in biotechnology,           law is that everything I write has an effect.     firm’s headquarters in Syracuse.
pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and             When I write a patent application, unlike a
agriscience. Because she speaks the               grant proposal, I really do see things happen     “I feel that they’re very forward-thinking in
language of science, she’s invaluable in          to it. Action happens, and it’s intellectual      that they don’t view geography as a problem,
helping her clients develop ideas into            property based on what I’ve written, which I      and I do a lot of telecommuting for them,”
patentable inventions.                            find very satisfying.”                            she said. “I do feel like this is going to be
                                                                                                    a trend that I think will pick up because
The law, she said, allowed her more               Born in Ithaca and raised in California,          lawyers are more and more able to be
professional mobility and flexibility. By         Schneiderman said being an attorney with a        geographically spread out and function as a
running her own firm, she has much-beloved        science background is a good combination;         law firm. I meet with them face-to-face on a
independence; and by working with Wall            she’s in constant demand and doesn’t have to      regular basis, but it’s not every day.”
Marjama, Schneiderman said she feels like         worry about professional insecurity.
she’s part of a much bigger world.                                                                  A Stanford Law School graduate,
                                                  “I was in Silicon Valley when the Internet        Schneiderman worked for seven years for
“Be open to the unexpected,” Schneiderman         bubble broke and a lot of people lost jobs        Pennie and Edmonds, LLP, and then briefly
says. “Getting into this arrangement was          and had offers rescinded and law firms            as in-house counsel for Advanced Design
because I started my own practice. Word got       dissolved,” she said. “But in general, there’s    Consulting USA, Inc., a high-technology
around that there was an attorney in Ithaca       a steady demand for people who have               engineering design consulting company in
who was practicing by herself, who was in         master’s degrees and Ph.D.’s in science, who      Lansing, NY.
biotech, and this particular law firm really      are trained as lawyers.”
wanted a biotech attorney, so you kind of                                                           “There’s also an advantage to having worked
never know. If you have too specific a plan       When asked if she was intimidated going           at a small start-up company, where you are
about how you want your career to go, you         back to school and starting a new career          very aware, for a small start-up, of their
may miss some wonderful opportunities.”           after 40, Schneiderman laughs and cites           budget and that they may not be able to work
                                                  a Dear Abby advice column about fear and          a huge amount of attorney time…like a big


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pharmaceutical company would be able to          “When I got out of law school, I lived in Palo      With her academic background, including
afford legal help,” she said.                    Alto and in New York City for a couple years,”      her postdoctoral work at Yale University,
                                                 she said. “It’s nice to conduct high-tech           LawCrossing asked Schneiderman if she
Small companies, she said, appreciate            business and high-tech legal practice from          might return to school and perhaps become
her sound economic advice on patents and         Ithaca. I want to stay in Ithaca for lifestyle      a medical doctor or astronaut.
strategy.                                        reasons, so that’s why I’m really happy to
                                                 have this kind of arrangement with Wall             “Oh, no. I’m going to be a lawyer and a yoga
Scientific expertise also means                  Marjama.”                                           teacher,” she said, laughing. “One thing that
Schneiderman can work where she wants,                                                               is nice about combining those two things
i.e., in Ithaca. And because patent law is       In New York and Palo Alto, Schneiderman worked      is that yoga is a wonderful way of relieving
federal law, it is easy to choose where you      for six years in the biotechnology practice group   stress, bringing balance both into your
want to practice and have clients all over the   of Pennie & Edmonds, LLP — during her time at       thinking and into your body. And I think that
country, she said.                               law school.                                         really emanates into my law practice.”




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