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Anne M. Schneiderman, Ph.D., Law Offices of Anne Schneiderman and Of Counsel to Wall Marjama & Bilinski, LLP [by Regan Morris] Biologist and patent attorney Anne M. Schneiderman decided to go to law school at age 42 after building a successful career as a scientist. Now she runs her own successful biotech law firm and recently became Of Counsel with Wall Marjama & Bilinski, LLP. With multiple degrees from various Ivy

Schneiderman, who also works as a yoga

aging. To paraphrase Dear Abby: You’re going

League schools, including a Ph.D. in

instructor in the evenings, said she is drawn

to be three years older anyway, so you might

neurobiology from Harvard University,

toward professional change and constant

as well try something new.

Schneiderman could easily have remained

challenges. With science, she said, she

in the world of scientific academia. But

spent too much of her time writing grants

“I’ve noticed that my law colleagues, like my

Schneiderman was drawn to the flexibility

for funding. And when her contract position

science colleagues, fall into two camps: the

of the law and the opportunity to combine

at Cornell was set to expire, she knew she

ones that are adventurous, entrepreneurial,

her legal and scientific skills in the world of

would probably have to move to take on a job

and aren’t scared to do something and the

patent law.

somewhere else as a professor. That’s when

ones who are,” she said, adding that many

she decided to go to Stanford Law School.

of her colleagues in science and law warned her not to start her own firm.

Although Wall Marjama is based in Syracuse, NY, Schneiderman works from the firm’s

“When I was applying for grants 10 years

Ithaca office and her own office, the Law

ago, it was usually less than 10-percent

With Wall Marjama, Schneiderman

Offices of Anne M. Schneiderman. Her

acceptance, so you had to write a lot of

telecommutes from her own office and

practice focuses on patent procurement

grants,” she said. “The thing I love about the

occasionally makes the one-hour drive to the

for high-tech clients in biotechnology,

law is that everything I write has an effect.

firm’s headquarters in Syracuse.

pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and

When I write a patent application, unlike a

agriscience. Because she speaks the

grant proposal, I really do see things happen

“I feel that they’re very forward-thinking in

language of science, she’s invaluable in

to it. Action happens, and it’s intellectual

that they don’t view geography as a problem,

helping her clients develop ideas into

property based on what I’ve written, which I

and I do a lot of telecommuting for them,”

patentable inventions.

find very satisfying.”

she said. “I do feel like this is going to be

The law, she said, allowed her more

Born in Ithaca and raised in California,

lawyers are more and more able to be

professional mobility and flexibility. By

Schneiderman said being an attorney with a

geographically spread out and function as a

running her own firm, she has much-beloved

science background is a good combination;

law firm. I meet with them face-to-face on a

independence; and by working with Wall

she’s in constant demand and doesn’t have to

regular basis, but it’s not every day.”

Marjama, Schneiderman said she feels like

worry about professional insecurity.

a trend that I think will pick up because

A Stanford Law School graduate,

she’s part of a much bigger world. “I was in Silicon Valley when the Internet

Schneiderman worked for seven years for

“Be open to the unexpected,” Schneiderman

bubble broke and a lot of people lost jobs

Pennie and Edmonds, LLP, and then briefly

says. “Getting into this arrangement was

and had offers rescinded and law firms

as in-house counsel for Advanced Design

because I started my own practice. Word got

dissolved,” she said. “But in general, there’s

Consulting USA, Inc., a high-technology

around that there was an attorney in Ithaca

a steady demand for people who have

engineering design consulting company in

who was practicing by herself, who was in

master’s degrees and Ph.D.’s in science, who

Lansing, NY.

biotech, and this particular law firm really

are trained as lawyers.” “There’s also an advantage to having worked

wanted a biotech attorney, so you kind of never know. If you have too specific a plan

When asked if she was intimidated going

at a small start-up company, where you are

about how you want your career to go, you

back to school and starting a new career

very aware, for a small start-up, of their

may miss some wonderful opportunities.”

after 40, Schneiderman laughs and cites

budget and that they may not be able to work

a Dear Abby advice column about fear and

a huge amount of attorney time…like a big


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1. 800.973.1177

pharmaceutical company would be able to

“When I got out of law school, I lived in Palo

With her academic background, including

afford legal help,” she said.

Alto and in New York City for a couple years,”

her postdoctoral work at Yale University,

she said. “It’s nice to conduct high-tech

LawCrossing asked Schneiderman if she

Small companies, she said, appreciate

business and high-tech legal practice from

might return to school and perhaps become

her sound economic advice on patents and

Ithaca. I want to stay in Ithaca for lifestyle

a medical doctor or astronaut.


reasons, so that’s why I’m really happy to

Scientific expertise also means

have this kind of arrangement with Wall

“Oh, no. I’m going to be a lawyer and a yoga


teacher,” she said, laughing. “One thing that

Schneiderman can work where she wants,

is nice about combining those two things

i.e., in Ithaca. And because patent law is

In New York and Palo Alto, Schneiderman worked

is that yoga is a wonderful way of relieving

federal law, it is easy to choose where you

for six years in the biotechnology practice group

stress, bringing balance both into your

want to practice and have clients all over the

of Pennie & Edmonds, LLP — during her time at

thinking and into your body. And I think that

country, she said.

law school.

really emanates into my law practice.”


Anne M. Schneiderman, Ph.D., Law Offices of Anne Schneiderman and  

Anne M. Schneiderman is a Ph.D., Law Offices of Anne Schneiderman. She runs own successful biotech law firm and became Of Counsel with Wall...