Kara DeAngelis is the Chair of the Corporate Committee and works on the data privacy side of the Commercial, Privacy, and Technology team at McDonald’s Corporation. Throughout her legal career, Kara has always worked as an in-house attorney. Straight out of law school, she focused on financial services and banking law before transitioning to privacy, which she found to be rewarding, challenging, and exciting.
Kara joined IPLAC shortly after law school, although she had heard of the organization while at Chicago-Kent College of Law. She was not sure she was a good fit then, because she lacked a hard science background. It was not until some friends brought her to her first IPLAC event (the famous Rosé Tasting) where she learned the truth: IPLAC’s reach extended far beyond patents, into IP-adjacent practices in her field like Privacy Law. “Privacy definitely fits into the realm of IP, and IPLAC has been trying to engage with and capture that audience. Privacy, cybersecurity, data governance, and technology, in practice, have lots of IP components, even if they do not fall directly under one of the classic IP fields.”
Shortly after becoming a regular Member, Kara was asked to join the Corporate Committee, for which she now serves as the Chair. Beyond organizing the committee’s events, Kara tries to debunk IPLAC’s biggest misconception, which even she once believed: that IPLAC is only geared toward patent lawyers in law firms. “I really want to bridge the gap and let people know that IPLAC’s Corporate Committee is a great resource for all of those who are, or are thinking about becoming Corporate Counsel, regardless of your legal area of concentration. I would say that the main goal for the Corporate Committee is to encourage all of our in-house friends, colleagues, and connections to come join our events. We will continue to host panels where Corporate Counsel come together and discuss their day-to-day lives on a broad range of hot topics.”
But what about those of us who do not plan to work in-house? Kara believes you can benefit just as much from IPLAC Corporate Committee events. “The benefits go beyond networking. Even if you are working at a law firm, you are going to have clients. You want to get a sense of what they care about, what their issues are, and what is keeping them up at night. The more law firm attorneys and in-house attorneys can socialize and attend these events together, the more we learn from each other. It benefits everyone.” As such, Kara encourages everyone in the legal community to come to their events, whether they are in-house counsel or not.
If Corporate Committee sparks your interest, keep an eye out for the Committee’s upcoming panel, Thinking of Going In-House?, currently scheduled for September 23, 2021, at 12 PM Central.