As part of MoFo’s Leaders of Influence campaign, Bita Rahebi, co-chair of the firm’s global IP Litigation group and cross-disciplinary Intellectual Property group, discusses her leadership style, how to stay mindful of who’s at the table and who’s missing, how she supports diverse women associates beginning their careers, and her current initiatives. Bita has also served on various committees of the firm over the years and is currently a member of the firm’s Points committee.
The world’s largest and most innovative technology companies turn to Bita for her trial skills and her strategic direction leading complex, high-stakes litigation matters. She litigates before state and federal trial courts, the Federal Circuit, and the International Trade Commission on a wide range of matters involving semiconductors, software, consumer electronics, and medical devices.
As a trial lawyer, Bita is known for zealously representing her clients’ interests. She brings an ability to explain complicated issues to juries and judges, a skill honed through years of experience working with cutting-edge technologies. She has obtained a complete defense victory as lead trial lawyer, invalidated numerous patents, and obtained winning results for plaintiffs.
As a leader, how do you stay mindful of who’s at the table and who’s missing?
I think the easy part is making sure you have the right people at the table. The more critical task is making sure that those at the table have a voice and they feel comfortable speaking. I make it a point in our meetings to make sure everyone speaks, especially our most junior colleagues. For instance, if we have a client proposal, we have clear roles for each of our attorneys, so that every single member of the team is contributing to the discussion.
If you participate in firm or office initiatives, please mention the initiatives you are working on, as well as the impact you hope to achieve?
I want to make sure talented lawyers coming into the profession have a clear path to success, whatever that looks like for them, and that they know both how to get there and are given chances to do so. I currently participate in the firm’s Pathway Mentoring Program, which supports the growth and development of new associates, and I served on the Women’s Strategy Committee for nearly a decade.
Describe your leadership style and how you “lead” others.
I balance building consensus with moving forward decisively with initiatives. It is important to build consensus because teams that are united in an objective perform at a higher level.
In what ways do you support diverse women associates who are beginning their careers?
I think it is important for all associates to find mentors early in their career. I devote a fair amount of time mentoring our newest colleagues and facilitating connections, and this is time well spent. In addition, I try to carve out substantive responsibilities for new attorneys on matters and provide frequent feedback. That is how we all learn.