Adams and Reese continues to grow its Global Intellectual Property practice with the addition of Haodong Zhong in our Nashville office.
Haodong will graduate this spring from Fordham University School of Law. He will sit for the bar in July and, upon passing, be admitted to practice in the State of Tennessee, joining Adams and Reese as an Associate.
Bilingual and fluent in Mandarin, Haodong will assist Adams and Reese IP attorneys in working with domestic clients interested in doing business in China and assist Chinese-based businesses looking to expand their services within the United States.
A current intern for Fortune 500 Tapestry (Coach, Kate Spade, Stuart Weitzman) in New York and a former legal intern in Shanghai, China, for the IP group at a leading American law firm, Haodong will be a valuable resource and communication bridge to the Adams and Reese client base doing business both internationally and domestically.
Adams and Reese Executive Committee Member and veteran IP attorney Mitch Boult got a chance to visit with Haodong to welcome him to Adams and Reese and learn more about his background and foreseen role with the firm.
Mitch: Haodong, we are excited to welcome you to Adams and Reese, our IP Team, and our Nashville office.
Haodong: “Mitch, thank you. I am excited to start working here. I have always loved Nashville since I started my undergrad program at Vanderbilt. I know that this city fits my long-term goal for my future law practice. I always wanted to return to Nashville and practice for a top, national law firm that has a global IP practice, and it’s hard to find a better firm than Adams and Reese.”
Mitch: Let’s learn more about your background. Why did you choose to go to law school?
Haodong: “Since I was a kid, I always wanted to become a lawyer. My elementary school teacher asked us to list the career you wanted to have, and I put lawyer on my list. My parents are very proud of me because I have always been a kid with strong motivation.”
Mitch: What did you study in college to prepare for law school?
Haodong: “I have a B.A. degree from Vanderbilt University in three majors: Mathematics, Economics, and Philosophy.”
Mitch: Wow, three majors?
Haodong: “Yes, I love challenging myself. I think all three are intertwined to my abstract personality, quantitative, logical reasoning skills, and my enjoyment of reading and writing. It’s like a left, middle, and right. Numbers, math, and science on one side, and understanding humanity and philosophy on the other side, feed into this middle ground of understanding how our economy works. There’s a science to practicing law and a business to practicing law. For example, to understand trademark law, one must understand how laws protect consumers and how laws protect the brands of the companies you represent. I am excited how all these trainings will help my practice.”
Mitch: Tell us about some of your law school extracurricular activities.
Haodong: “I am an Associate Competition Editor for the Fordham Law Moot Court Board, serving as a coach in First Amendment and Intellectual Property Law competitions. I am a Notes and Articles Editor for the Fordham Environmental Law Review. I do a lot of editing and checking citations for submissions from scholars and students, which I know will expand my knowledge and help my practice.”
Mitch: What areas of IP law interest you?
Haodong: “I'm very interested in trademark law, and I know that's a big focus of the Adams and Reese Nashville office, so I’m excited to engage with the firm’s trademark attorneys. I find all areas of IP law intriguing, however.”
Mitch: You currently intern at the holding company Tapestry, Inc., for Coach, Kate Spade, and Stuart Weitzman. Tell us about that experience.
Haodong: “I'm very fortunate to work in New York for three of the most iconic brands in the fashion industry. I work in the Tapestry legal department, studying issues from trademarks and patents to copyrights and contracts with influencers on Instagram and TikTok. It’s all fascinating. Not only do I need to understand the laws in the markets we operate, but also how to communicate those laws to our business teams and designers on how legal issues affect their operations. I have gained valuable experience on issues such as anti-counterfeiting, brand protections, California Consumer Privacy Act, and the INFORM Consumers Act.”
Mitch: Those are incredible experiences you are bringing to the table. What additional experience do you have?
Haodong: “I interned in Shanghai for a leading American law firm, assisting attorneys in advising Chinese and American businesses. That was an important experience. I learned from a global law firm how to serve both the interests of Chinese clients wanting to do business in the U.S., and U.S. businesses desiring to do work in China. For the latter, many U.S. businesses lack awareness of the risks and are unfamiliar with laws in foreign countries. Similarly, we need to explain complex American IP laws to Chinese clients in an easy-to-understand manner. To achieve this goal, we may need to translate American IP laws into Chinese. That’s where my bilingual background helps. I can translate legal documents and laws for Chinese business owners, and communicate their needs to anyone they’re negotiating with in the U.S.”
Mitch: Those are all huge benefits to our international clients. We are excited how those skill sets will expand our global IP services.
Haodong: “Yes, I’m looking forward to that. When a Chinese client needs assistance with the U.S., like in Tennessee, New York, and California, we can assist them more efficiently. And when our domestic companies need legal assistance in China and the understanding of the IP law space in China, we can build that bridge as well.”
Mitch: What are some of your favorite hobbies outside law school?
Haodong: “I actually write a philosophy blog. I read and translate philosophy writings into Chinese. I like online shopping, swimming, running, and skiing.”
Mitch: OK, Haodong, you’re off the hot seat. Good luck finishing up law school, and we look forward to you joining us this summer.
Haodong: “I am very much looking forward to it. Thanks Mitch.”