A Woman in a
Room Full of Men
BY EMILY WHITE
PHOTOGRAPHY BY SHANE BEVEL
IS INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW A BOYS’ CLUB?
ASK TULSA’S RACHEL BLUE
Q: How did you start out?
A: I grew up in Tulsa and I went to the University of Mississippi for a
year, but then I found that I did not have enough blond hair. I went
to Texas and finished undergrad at Texas. Got out a year early, came
back to Tulsa, decided I didn’t want to go to grad school and worked
for a lawyer instead. He offered to pay for law school if I would stay
here and work for him while I was in law school. I did that and I
went to the University of Tulsa for law school and [after graduating
in 1988] I went out to D.C. and worked at the trademark office for
about eight years.
[The D.C. job] actually starts with a funny story. It is not a way that I
would recommend people get a job. My parents, as a gift, bought me
a plane ticket to go out and see an old college friend who lived in D.C.
at the time.
While I was there, I called a friend that I had gone to law school
with. And he said, “Let me take you out for a drink. I’m working at
the Patent and Trademark Office. They’re hiring people. Would you
like an interview?” I had already secured a job in Kansas City, but I
thought, “It wouldn’t hurt to just go and kind of see what that looks
like.” So I did.
The day that I went was a beautiful day in Washington. It was
October. I was not in the mood to go to a job interview and listen
to some, what I thought would be, government drone asking me
where I wanted to be in five years.