Chuck and I were inspired by all of the breweries, wineries, specialty foods, farms, orchards, restaurants and other great food resources in the region. It has been amazing meeting the innovative and hardworking entrepreneurs who make all of that happen. I was amazed to find some great technology companies around, too. The biggest drawback is geography. Places are far apart and there aren't always direct ways to get there. Given our regional focus and desire to meet with people where they work, it can mean a lot of driving.
What sets you apart from your competitors?
We are specialists, so we actually get a lot of our work from other attorneys in the area referring clients with intellectual property issues to us. Our real competitors are the Syracuse, Albany and New York City intellectual property firms. But none of them focus on the food and beverage industry. They are also farther away and don't have our passion for the region's agricultural, culinary tourism and food and beverage potential.
What advice would you give to someone trying to enter your field of work?
The law is an increasingly tough business. I don't recommend it unless you have a real calling for some part of it. You should only pursue a legal career if you can find a niche you are passionate about and can be great in. Patent attorneys have had to be specialists for a long time _ it is impossible to know every technology. Increasingly, other attorneys will need to find a unique value proposition to succeed.
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