Q&A with Jennifer Ko Craft, shareholder and department chair for Gordon Silver

While still in law school, Jennifer Ko Craft spent her last two summers clerking for Andre Agassi. After graduation she became his in-house associate general counsel for two years, while at the same time working for Shaquille O’Neal.

Not a bad start.

Since she was a child, Craft said she wanted to be an attorney. When the “what do want to be when you grow up?” question came up for her third-grade yearbook, Craft’s response was: “lawyer and caterer.” The latter came into play because she loves food, she said.

At 37 years old, Craft is living her dream.

She’s been working at Gordon Silver for 2 1/2 years, where she overse es two practice groups, builds clients and assists them with intellectual property needs.

“When clients have major litigation they’re faced with, they call me,” Craft said. “I really enjoy helping people solve their problems.”

She said she also loves helping people brainstorm and launch new products or marketing campaigns.

Craft’s client list includes the Kardashian and Jenner family, Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, Xyience and Sugar Factory.

How did you choose your specialty areas?

I think sometimes the practice of law can be very dry. My juices don’t flow going through the tax code. For instance if Xyience is working on a new flavor combination with a crazy name, they ask me can they do it, can they say this in marketing, what about a sweepstakes? It’s that part that’s so much fun for me. ... There’s nothing that can beat it.

What’s your secret to success?

I know what I think it is, but I have other people who tell me what makes me different. ... It’s because clients can see how much joy and passion I have in the practice of law. If people are excited to be on a project, you can tell. Personally what I think, it comes down to personality. I know you have to be good at your job, ... once you have a strong foundation it all comes down to relationships. Do you connect with the other person on the other end of the line?

What is most challenging about your practice right now?

There are a lot of clients who are trying to cut corners. I can understand that and I try to cut corners with them. If I can save them, I try to do that. But there’s a tug of war there. While I want to conserve costs, I don’t want it to be at the expense of quality work or work that needs to be done.

What’s one of the more interesting aspects about intellectual property?

It’s new and different every time, and I love that. I love when a client asks me a question I don’t know the answer to. I love to grow and learn. I love it when you have 20 different bombs, you’re having this conversation you can’t do this, you can’t do that, and then it just becomes the thing that you base your product line name on, or the thing that helps you turn the corner on an argument we’re making in litigation. Every time we have a brainstorming call it doesn’t always happen, but when it does it’s the most gratifying feeling.