John E. Munro, an attorney with Harness, Dickey, & Pierce in Troy, grew up in the northern suburbs of Chicago before attending the University of Illinois. After receiving his bachelor of science in mechanical engineering and then his Master’s in Business Administration, he accepted a job working for Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn, and worked for Ford for approximately seven years before deciding to make a change and pursue a career in intellectual property law.
What would surprise people about your job?
People may be surprised to learn that I interact with lawyers and other intellectual property professionals across the globe to obtain and enforce our client’s intellectual property rights. One of the most interesting cases I was involved in occurred in Russia where we asked local Russian police to investigate a third-party infringer for committing forgery and fraud at the Russian Patent Office.
Why did you become a lawyer?
I considered the career move after talking with a friend who thought it might be a good fit. One aspect of law that intrigued me then, and still intrigues me now, is that the law is constantly changing and continuous learning is a critical aspect of being a good lawyer.
What advice do you have for someone considering law school?
Give some thought to the type of law that you think you want to practice. You will not be restricted from practicing in other areas but it will help to talk to someone who practices in your area of interest. The practice of law varies greatly between practice areas.
What’s your proudest moment as a lawyer?
One of my proudest moments was defeating a motion for a preliminary injunction in a trademark dispute for a client. The magistrate judge’s report and recommendations did not come down in our favor so the deck was stacked against us. We were able to persuade the presiding judge otherwise.