When Kelley Goldberg arrived in Las Vegas more than a decade ago, the former college basketball player and native of a one-stoplight town in Michigan, envisioned herself as a courtroom lawyer much like she saw on “Law &Order.”
Today, the 33-year-old Goldberg manages the Intellectual Property and Technology Group at Brownstein Hyatt Farber and Schreck. The group handles billions of dollars in intellectual property assets for the nation’s largest gaming, hospitality and entertainment companies, including Wynn, Palms, Boyd Gaming, Tropicana Entertainment and Pinnacle Entertainment.
Her group also protects the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority billion-dollar “What Happens Here, Stays Here” brand — a brand that drives millions upon millions of visitors to Las Vegas each year. And she has played an integral role in the launch of several of the country’s first online casinos.
She and her husband, Aaron Goldberg, are the parents of 15-month-old Scarlett. She is also active in the community as a founding member of the board of directors for Grant a Gift Autism Foundation. She also donates more than 100 pro bono hours to businesses every year.
What brought you to Las Vegas?
I moved here to go to law school. I got a full scholarship to go to UNLV. I drove across the country with everything packed in my little car and didn’t know a soul. I moved out here to start a life and to make a difference. Once I got through law school, it was a perfect storm though. The recession hit and I started to build a practice in what was the worst economy since the Great Depression. It’s crazy that I’m here and have achieved so much. I’m grateful.
Where did you go to school previously?
I did my undergrad in Michigan. I played Division III women’s basketball at Kalamazoo College.
Did you envision what you’re doing today?
No. In fact, this is a fallacy that law students have any idea of what the practice of law is. They don’t. I entered law school thinking that being a lawyer was about going to court and arguing. The truth is it’s about writing and helping businesses make business decisions. I entered law school because I thought I would be in court and graduated law school with a job as an intellectual property attorney helping people protect their brands and technology and writing contracts and working closely with all of the businesses in town. It is a total 180 degrees from what I thought I would be doing.
What did you do after law school?
Right out of law school I worked for Greenberg Traurig. I was there for two years and had the wonderful opportunity to join the firm I’m at now. I came over with a team of people as a second-year attorney.
You do a lot of volunteering. Why is that and what else do you do in your spare time?
I’m devoted to our community because I feel very grateful that I was able to come to Las Vegas and have these opportunities. So that’s what I spend most of my spare time on, pro-bono work and volunteering. That aside, I am an avid sports fan. I’m a huge Green Bay Packer fan and I am probably more than anything a fan of the Michigan State Spartans. I have a 15-month-old. Any spare time that’s not spent watching sports or hanging with her, I’m sleeping.
What restaurants do you like?
I love Chada Thai (&Wine). The food is incredible. I always like Nora’s (Cusine).
What do you like to read?
Right now I’m busy reading the “Count of Monte Cristo.” I don’t care what I read. I just like to read with someone. I will read anything from science fiction books to classics to trashy novels. I just want to talk to someone about what I’m reading.
What do you watch on television?
I binged watched “House of Cards.” I still watch the “Sopranos.” I love “So You Think You Can Dance.”