I have an engineering degree from Dartmouth College and first learned about patent law as part of a product development class. I quickly realized I loved learning about new technology more than lab work and decided to go to law school to pursue patent law. I graduated into the dot.com craze of the late 90s and fell in love with entrepreneurship. I have worked for a K Street law firm and a Silicon Valley technology boutique, as well as being an in-house attorney for Maxtor Corporation and Seagate Technology. When we moved back to Cooperstown, I started my own practice to live the entrepreneurial dream. Chuck and I met in Fall 2011 after he finally tired of commuting to a NYC law firm. We found a common interest in the food and beverage industry and Knull Group and www.EatDrinkLaw.com were born.
Describe a memorable moment in your workplace:
For me, it was the moment when the Eat.Drink.Law concept was formed. We were on the way to a meeting at Brewery Ommegang and got talking about our ideal legal practice. I wanted to pick an industry niche where I could be a great business counselor and was marveling at the growth of breweries, wineries and gourmet foods in New York and our area in particular. Chuck mentioned that breweries had been some of his best clients and it all just started to click.
What have you learned from your work?
Business is difficult. I have had clients that have succeeded and clients that have failed. I've even had one legislated out of existence. Attorneys sometimes get caught up in minimizing risk and pursuing ideal solutions. In the real world of business, you can rarely afford the ideal and everything has some risk. Being responsible for my own businesses, cash flow, regulations, and employees has been eye-opening. The law is only a small part of being a good business counselor. You need to understand business fundamentals, know the industry, get to know the individual business, and keep everything in perspective.
What are some advantages as well as drawbacks of doing business in this area?