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Hastings Alumni Mag-Spring 2014

undisclosed amount but a lot of money,” Gavenman relates. The career notoriety and money his client received had a “life-changing” impact on the people involved. “When you watch people work as hard as entrepreneurs work, and you work alongside them the whole way, and the vision comes to fruition, and the lives of the people at a company are positively altered, it’s like having a hand in helping a group of people win a lottery. It is a tremendously rewarding moment,” Gavenman says. Patents play a key role in courting investors. “Usually, early-stage companies have no products. All they have is intellectual property, so we need to be strategic in helping them file the right patents, which often create interest in investors,” says James Nachtwey ’12, an associate at Carr & Ferrell. Intellectual property rights can mean the life or death of an enterprise or product. Claude Stern ’80, co-chair of Quinn Emanuel’s IP litigation practice, has made a career of protecting the IP rights of companies, ranging from modest venture-backed startups to leading multinationals. UC HASTINGS 27 Outside the Box In the startup environment, lawyers like Gavenman and Van Ligten play a key role as matchmakers. They spend their time not just giving legal advice but also helping companies refine their business plans to make them more attractive to investors. “Every time Glen Van Ligten ’90 has worked on some of the most successful startups I email a VC, I’m putting in the country, including Tumblr. myself out there,” Gavenman says. “In the tech universe, your name distinguishes you based on the quality of referrals you make.” Gavenman has many stories to tell about founders nearly “throwing in the towel” after months, if not years, of trying to gain traction for their business ideas and failing to get funding. He remembers encouraging one frustrated client to try for another few weeks before giving up. “Within a week and a half, the company got a term sheet for its first round of financing, and we sold it a few years later for an


Hastings Alumni Mag-Spring 2014
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