Kathi Vidal, Winston & Strawn LLP, Silicon Valley Office Managing Partner
Kathi Vidal is one of the leading patent litigators in the country. Nationally recognized for trying high-profile, high-stakes, and high-tech patent disputes for the region’s leading companies, her experience covers a myriad of technologies, including semiconductors, telecommunications, circuits and systems, computers, software, Internet applications, and consumer products.
With a background in mathematical physics and programming and a bachelors and masters in electrical engineering, she began her career as an engineer at General Electric where she designed one of the first leading-edge expert systems (artificial intelligence) for an aircraft.
Kathi’s thought leadership in all things patent law is demonstrated by her track record as first-chair for leading tech companies in numerous cases in U.S. district courts, the International Trade Commission, and at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Leading the way for women and collaborating with people from diverse backgrounds also are hallmarks of her career.
Q. How are you sharing 21 days of kindness?
A. As part of the firm’s 2019 Year of Mental Health, Winston & Strawn is one of the 80 organizations that has partnered with Born This Way Foundation for its second annual 21 Days to Be Kind Challenge. We encouraged all firm members to take the #BeKind21 pledge and make acts of kindness a habit during the 21-day campaign and beyond.
I personally launched the 21-day challenge by offering to help the associates in my office and on my teams with their self-evaluations. I curated helpful information (impactful articles and some tips from a fellow partner), sent it to the associates, and offered to them – and provided – my feedback. This was already shared on Winston social media. Though I practice kindness every day, I took the 21-day challenge as a challenge to purposefully add an act of kindness each day to my normal practice. Here are other examples from my challenge:
1. Yesterday, I invited a number of my friends, clients and partners to be Pattie Sellers and Nina Easton’s guests at the Calabasas Film Festival for the Los Angeles premiere of Port of Destiny: Peace. The 52-minute documentary, directed by Emmy-winning filmmaker Robert Abbott, tells the extraordinary story of former Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos, who, against all odds, negotiated a high-stakes peace deal with the FARC rebels to end 54 years of civil war—and win the Nobel Peace Prize. By doing this, I checked multiple “kindness” boxes. I supported a film that emanates kindness, I supported Pattie and Nina, and I supported my friends, clients and partners by giving them this opportunity.
2. I asked my incredible assistant to identify three ways in which I could bring her more joy in her work and when she identified that having a meditation room at work would be top on her list, I created the room that very day and teamed with others to build on the original conception.
Q. What does kindness mean to you?
A. To me kindness is an active practice of bringing joy to others.
Q. What will you do to share kindness today?
A. Though it feels uncomfortable to take “credit” for acts of kindness, I know that kindness is contagious and that others seeing or feeling kind acts multiplies its effect. Today I will reach out to a few of my fellow Office Managing Partners and will encourage them to tell their stories.
Q. Favorite example(s) of how others can share kindness:
On a plane, offer to help someone with their luggage
Stop by someone’s office to check in on how they are doing
Email or text someone you know is struggling and let them know you are thinking about them
Use your network/friends to connect or help others
Promote someone you know is good through social media or by emailing someone of influence
Say “thank you”
Send a personal note to let someone know you care
Donate to someone’s favorite charity and send them a note that you were thinking of them
Post a positive or supportive note or comment in response to someone sharing about themselves on social media
Q. I am grateful for…
A. those who look for joy and beauty in everyone and everything.
Q. What do you do when your day doesn’t go as planned?
A. The antidote when things don’t go as planned or when others’ actions are out of your control is to find something to which you can positively contribute and to focus your efforts and attention on making a positive difference. You can’t control the actions of others; you can only bring your best self to the table.
Q. I am inspired by…
Learn more about Kathi Vidal, her work, and her passions and follow her online at:
LinkedIn: Winston & Strawn LLP
#womeninstem #kindness #bekind21 #legalinnovation #womenleaders