Alumni: Katia Bloom

Katia Bloom

Katia Bloom

JD 08

Associate General Counsel, ForgeRock, Inc.

Thriving on the Challenges of an IP Law Career

"In the Bay Area, you end up doing IP law," Katia Bloom (JD 2008) says quite simply, for although her career path has provided her with a variety of positions in a variety of practice areas, her skills, training, and experience in IP have always been called upon.

A third-generation female attorney -- "No one pressured me to do this," she clarifies -- Bloom is currently the Associate General Counsel at ForgeRock. Based in San Francisco, ForgeRock's identity and access management platform manages billions of digital identities on new cloud, mobile, and IoT services. "There's no shortage of interesting IP issues to tackle given ForgeRock's product and customer base!"

Bloom has built her career on tackling challenges, staying calm in unusual situations, and handling explosive growth. She began her career at a public medical device company where she ended up being the only lawyer, a job she "really loved." But when the company went through bankruptcy in 2010, a rough period in the job market, she had to get creative. "I called my best friend -- also a GGU Law grad -- and we started E Squared Law Group." For three years, she provided outside counsel on a wide range of matters including commercial and technology licensing agreements, corporate governance, and venture financing, as well as privacy law and regulation compliance. Though the firm was successful, when her partner decided to pursue new opportunities and a position to become the sole in-house counsel at the US subsidiary of Germany-based interned security company Avira, Bloom couldn't pass it up. As the sole in-house counsel in the US, Bloom managed and advises on contracts, licensing, privacy, compliance, employment, as well as any litigation matters.

It was more than luck that landed her this plum position. In this competitive environment, "you do have to prove yourself," she says, and as a graduate of GGU Law School, she feels she had some key advantages. "The thing about GGU that's not well understood is how well it prepares you to come out ready to practice law," she says. "It makes you scrappy, willing to work hard and be creative."

Throughout her career, Bloom has also learned some surprising and valuable lessons about the realities of practicing IP law in the Bay Area. "I had the idea that people who have been practicing twenty years know everything," she says, but the laws change quickly, and it takes time to learn how to find the information you need and build a network. "Law is about coming in and figuring stuff out. There's always something that you're learning," she says, "there's always an interesting problem."

As she looks to the possible hot-button issues of the future, Bloom says, "currently, cyber security and privacy regulations and their impact on IP are top of mind. However, the hot-button issues of the future will focus on emerging technologies such as self-driving cars, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and their impact on how we define intellectual property."

Fortunately, the thought of facing these challenges excites her. "No two days are alike, and I thrive on that," she says. "It's a canned answer, but it's true."