Cambridge, MA Intellectual Property Law firm, Lando & Anastasi, LLP, is approaching its 15th year anniversary in June. I sat down with one of the firm’s founding partners, Peter Lando, to get his insight on being a lawyer, leader, and what’s involved in the dynamics of an entrepreneurial law firm that has seen impressive growth over its 15-year history.
What does your firm do?
Lando & Anastasi (L&A), based in Cambridge MA, helps clients achieve their business objectives by providing innovative solutions for protecting, monetizing and expanding their intellectual property assets.
Since forming the firm in 2003, we have adhered to a clear set of principles: placing our clients’ business goals at the forefront;focusing on technologies that drive innovation and growth; and collaborating across practices to produce creative approaches to complex IP issues.
What is your role? What do you enjoy about it?
As one of L&A’s founding partners, I have several rolesin addition to my legal practice. I am a member of our three-person Management Committee which is responsible for overseeing the operation of the firm, strategic planning, and driving business decisions to continuously position the firm for success. I also serve on the firm’s Marketing Committee and the Associate Review Committee. These three positions keep me well-integrated into all areas of the firm’s operations and practice. Beyond the titled roles, I truly enjoy mentoring our associates and helping them grow their skills and develop their careers. I appreciate the opportunities we have as intellectual property lawyers and do my best to share this enthusiasm through my interactions within and outside of the firm.
What made you want to become a lawyer?
I did not set out thinking I was going to grow up to be an attorney. I started as a chemical engineer, went to school to get my MBA, and then earned my JD. I soon realized that the disciplines that piqued my interest early on – technology, business and law – intersect within the realm of intellectual property,and that led me to where I am today. Having this background enables me to do what I enjoy most as an IP attorney – to not only understand the underlying technology behind an invention, but to also have an understanding of the context for it and how it might be used to advance the business of my clients.
What are the biggest challenges in your business right now?
We are an entrepreneurial firm that has grown, from a mere notion that the practice of law could be improved, into a multi-million-dollar business. Maintaining that notion has been and always will be one of our biggest challenges, but an exciting one that I cherish. We launched in 2003 with 3 attorneys and 5 employees. Today, we have close to 40 legal professionals and 70 employees, which, frankly, is a much larger organization than we anticipated at the outset. Managing this incredible growth over fifteen years,while maintaining our core values, is not always easy. We continually seek new and creative ways to “manage our firm forward,” in order to avoid becoming like the law firms we left to form our own. One way we do this, for example, is to encourage all partners to take active roles in running the business. While this is not necessarily how law firms operate conventionally, I am quite proud that my colleagues and I have established this tradition at L&A.
If you could go back in time, what business advice would you give to a younger version of yourself?
I would advise a younger version of myself to pay attention to everything around you—it’s all a wonder—and to not take each day with cherished family and friends for granted. Do not lose yourself to billable hours, rather look for opportunities to learn and grow in all you do, seek mentors, and maintain a balanced lifestyle. Take opportunities to travel, expand your exposure to different cultures, and cultural events like great music and art. All these fulfilling experiences become a sort of life “currency” that adds up over time. That treasure helps to create a well-rounded, experienced best version of yourself, and a better attorney for your clients.
Tell me about an interesting matter you worked on?
One of my contacts was working in the water treatment business during the 1990s, which was a period of rapid consolidation in that industry. Through very good fortune, I became involved in this, and from 1994-2000, worked on hundreds of water industry-related matters in a wide variety of technologies. These included due diligences for acquisitions, divestitures, licensing, litigation, and ultimately in building an IP portfolio valued at well over $1 billion. This extensive (and intensive) experience helped me to learn what had been done well and not so well by others. I carry these lessons with me today, and I still represent that client – nearly 25 years later.
Ellen Keiley, CPC, is President of EMK Consulting Group, LLC, a provider of business development coaching, training, and public relations for professional services organizations. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.