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How I Made Practice Group Co-Chair: ‘I Came Out of the Navy and JAG Corps With a Strong Sense of Purpose and Strong Management Training,’ Says Mark Whitaker of Morrison & Foerster

14 Dec 2021

Mark Whitaker was profiled in’s “How I Made It” series, discussing his role as co-chair of Morrison & Foerster’s global IP Litigation Practice and cross-disciplinary Intellectual Property Group, influences throughout his career, and advice for partners who want to make it to firm leadership.

“Get outside of your client work – you need to demonstrate that you’ve garnered some expertise in an area of the law and it should be built around articles, speeches, presentations, and marketing yourself,” Mark said. “I do think the best leaders are the ones who don’t stay within the walls of the organization, and instead get outside and learn from others. Then they’re able to lead the firm in a better, and positive way."

He added: “Especially for the development and growth of ethnic minorities in particular, we take a look at and start working the pipeline outside of law schools. For IP, that’s with engineering societies or schools with large engineering programs to give students an idea of what an engineer with a law degree might look like for their careers. I’m a big believer in driving the pipeline. With respect to D+I [Diversity and Inclusion], if you want to truly be a leader, then purposefully engage with the diversity leadership in the firm, the committee, and volunteer to participate in D+I events so that you’re learning and understanding what different people and different backgrounds bring to the practice.”

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