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Up & Coming Honorees: James Heinen Jr., 37

Partner, Armstrong Teasdale, St. Louis

james-heinenPractice Area: Intellectual property

Law School: University of Maryland

Jim Heinen earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and did an internship with paint manufacturer Sherwin Williams, but he decided to head to law school rather than stay in the lab. Heinen has combined his scientific background with his love of law, joining Armstrong Teasdale in 2008. Today, he’s an attorney with the firm’s intellectual property practice group, and has already made a significant mark.

Heinen’s most recent accomplishments include establishing the firm’s patent agent and engineer program. Heinen oversees hiring, training and development of patent agents and engineers, which has both grown the firm’s capabilities and saved money for clients. As an attorney, Heinen works closely with universities on tech transfers and preparing patent applications for clients in the chemical and biochemical industries. He also specializes in opinion work and is considered the top patent term adjustment attorney at the firm.

What has been your favorite moment as an attorney?

Getting sworn in to practice in three different states and jurisdictions. I’m a member of the Virginia, Missouri and District of Columbia bars. Each time I’ve been sworn in reminds me of the time and effort I’ve put in to get where I am, including all of my failures and successes.

If you hadn’t become a lawyer, what profession would you have chosen?

Probably a baseball broadcaster (preferably a Major League one!). Ever since I can recall, I’ve been in love with watching and playing sports. If not for the law, I would have tried to find my way into some profession that would pay me to do that.

What is something that would surprise people about you?

I have created and copyrighted the lyrics to three original songs. I wrote one for each of my first two children to sing while brushing their teeth and changing their diapers, respectively, and one for my wife for our family to sing when she goes on a daily coffee trip.

What is the best career advice you have received?

Keep your eyes and your ears open, and your mouth shut. I cannot stress enough how important listening has been in my career. It gives me the ability to understand my clients better and anticipate their needs and challenges.

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