Lawyer Spotlight: Stephen Gardner
How many states or countries have you lived in?
I've lived in four states: Ohio, Michigan, Virginia, and Wisconsin. But I've never lived outside the US.
What is your favorite drink?
Easy: Diet Coke. There's not even a remotely close second place.
What is your favorite month?
October. It's a great time of year to be in the Midwest.
What inspires you?
Outside of work, it's my wife and kids. Workwise, I'm an IP attorney, so it’s the feeling of having contributed in a small way to a technology making it into the hands of people it can help.
If you chose a quote to live by, what would it be?
"Find something you love and work hard at it."
What is your greatest accomplishment?
Somehow managing to eventually fall into the right balance of work and family time.
What has been your most embarrassing experience at Q&B?
I once dialed the wrong internal Q&B conference number and inadvertently joined another call in-progress. It took an embarrassingly long time to figure out what had happened.
What experience at Q&B has been the most fun?
Getting to know my co-workers, both in Madison and other Q&B locations.
What advice would you give to a law student?
Don't be afraid to approach practicing attorneys and ask them about their practice. I had good informal mentors that were practicing attorneys in the IP field, and that helped me tremendously with things like choosing the most helpful courses and planning out my career path.
What is your greatest professional success?
Learning to find compromises in IP-related agreements, so as not to get in the way of clients with great inventions.
What class should you have taken in law school?
I am actually content with the courses I did take. Marquette University Law school had a great IP curriculum.
Who has given you the best advice about practicing law and what was that advice?
The judge I clerked for early in my career gave me a lot of great advice about practicing law, but the simplest and best advice was to always ensure that your research and efforts result in a clear decision or statement of advice. If you can't clearly articulate what your advice is, then you probably aren't ready to give it.
What makes you laugh?
Both of my kids talk in their sleep, and it is hysterical 100% of the time.
What is the best thing about Q&B?
Q&B has a tremendous training program for its younger attorneys, and a culture in which it is a given that resources will be devoted to career development.
What do you do for fun?
I like a lot of typical hobbies: cooking, running, traveling. But my wife and I also really enjoy DIY home projects.
What is great about working in Madison?
Madison is a smaller city compared to some of the other Q&B locations, but has a really great culture and lots to offer for its size. From restaurants, to events, to outdoor activities - we have a great blend.