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McAfee & Taft attorneys among 2010 Leadership in Law honorees

April 30, 2010

Three McAfee & Taft attorneys were recipients of the Journal Record‘s 2010 Leadership in Law Award. Rachel Blue, Michael J. LaBrie and James C. McMillin were recognized for their professional and civic contributions during a Law Day luncheon at the Skirvin Hotel Grand Ballroom in downtown Oklahoma City.

In its profile of Rachel Blue, the Journal Record highlighted her “extensive experience and insider knowledge to her practice at McAfee & Taft in intellectual property law as well as franchise law, entertainment law and unfair competition matters.” The profile also notes that “Blue, who is today highly respected by her peers in the legal profession, did not always plan to become an attorney.”

“I was a psychology major. During my last semester of college, I was taking a course in patient counseling and got scolded by the professor for trying to ‘problem solve’ for a patient. I figured out that I was better off in a profession that encouraged that trait,” she said.

The profile also highlighted Blue’s professional and civic contributions, from writing and speaking on intellectual property matters to advocacy on adoption issues to serving as adviser and board member for several community organizations.

Blue is quoted advising others considering entering the profession to “understand that balance doesn’t mean a constant 50/50 split of your energy between home and work, but that you cycle your attention between the two in some way that makes sense under your circumstances. Measure your successes (and your failures) from 30,000 feet, not 30 feet.”

In its profile of Mike Labrie, the Journal Record noted that he had no intention of practicing law, “but after working as an engineer for a short period, he decided to enter law school on a lark.”

“The more I learned about intellectual property law, the more I recognized it was a great fit,” he said.

LaBrie is a shareholder and past leader of the firm’s Intellectual Property Practice Group. His practice is concentrated on all aspects of intellectual property law, including patent, trademark and copyright law and related litigation throughout his entire legal career.

The profile highlighted LaBrie’s active involvement in the state’s legal and business communities, serving as a member and on the boards of several professional and industry organizations. He has also been a frequent speaker and author on intellectual property topics.

In its profile of Jim McMillin, the Journal Record noted that he “fell in love with the legal profession as a young boy watching his father and grandfather practice law.”

“I learned from them that (the profession) was intellectually challenging and provided an opportunity to help others,” he said.

McMillin’s practice is focused on litigation and legal counseling in the areas of Native American law, complex commercial disputes, particularly those involving securities law, corporate governance (including contests for corporate control), corporate finance, intellectual property, antitrust and trade regulation.

In the profile, McMillin stated, “we have been blessed with a legal system that, although flawed, is nevertheless a bastion against arbitrary governmental action. Trial lawyers in particular are engaged in a noble profession that must look askance at efforts to convert the practice to a business proposition.”

The profile highlights his active involvement in several professional organizations and civic organizations, including volunteering his time with Oklahoma Lawyers for Children and serving as a board member of Rebuilding Together.