Trailblazers David W. Leopold and Vance V. VanDrake Honored by National Law Journal

November 3, 2020 – Ulmer & Berne LLP is proud to announce that Partners David W. Leopold and Vance V. VanDrake, III, have been honored in the latest issue of The National Law Journal (NLJ). In special supplements celebrating immigration and intellectual property attorneys across the country, Leopold was honored as an Immigration Trailblazer and VanDrake was honored as an Intellectual Property Trailblazer.

Leopold makes his second appearance on the Immigration Trailblazers list for his work as a nationally recognized immigration attorney, passionate reform advocate, and respected writer and speaker. A partner in Ulmer’s Cleveland office, Leopold serves as Group Leader of the firm’s Immigration Law Group where he uses his more than two decades of experience counseling diverse clients on a wide array of issues related to U.S. immigration, visa, and citizenship law. He focuses his practice on employment and family-based immigration, the representation of employers in Form I-9 compliance matters, complex removal cases including administrative trials and appeals, and federal court litigation.

Leopold previously served as President and General Counsel of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and frequently serves as a “go-to” analyst on cutting-edge immigration issues for national television shows and major print media outlets. He uses his litigation background and the courts to drive change in immigration law and policy, a passion that was instilled in him by his father, a Holocaust survivor and refugee. He serves on the Board of Directors of Global Cleveland, a nonprofit that attracts, welcomes, and connects international newcomers to economic, social, and educational opportunities in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, Ohio, and was appointed by the Biden for President Campaign to serve on the national Platform Committee for the 2020 Democratic National Convention.

“Part of being an immigration attorney is not only helping businesses and families but working to build better, more compassionate immigration and social policy,” said Leopold. “I’m grateful to be able to use my skills to help others and work towards the development of smart immigration policy.”

VanDrake, a partner in Ulmer’s Cincinnati office, was named an Intellectual Property Trailblazer for his progressive and creative approach to the development of intellectual property and business strategy for emerging businesses and startup companies. As the co-founder of multiple early stage and venture-backed companies and an active angel investor, VanDrake has worked with hundreds of startups and technologists to add over a billion dollars in value to these ventures. He has helped his clients, including many angel and venture-backed companies, develop comprehensive strategies in a broad range of technologies, including software, medical devices, and mechanical and electrical innovations. He assists clients with all aspects of patent drafting and prosecution, trademark registration and clearance, and copyright and trade secret protection.

Passionate about using his personal experience and background in patent law to help others improve their patent knowledge, VanDrake is the author of a bestselling guide to developing a winning patent strategy entitled, “The Patent Game: Basics & Strategies for Innovators, Entrepreneurs, and Business Leaders,” where he breaks down the foundational elements of the patent process and offers insights that can be applied to entrepreneurs’ personal or business goals. He is a frequent keynote speaker and mentor for universities, startup accelerators, business incubators, and technology groups, and previously served as President of the Greater Cincinnati Venture Association, which rallies the Cincinnati startup community.

“To realize the vision of bringing an innovation to life, entrepreneurs need the knowledge and confidence to protect those ideas from infancy to realization,” said VanDrake. “I love being able to help innovators navigate and learn how to win the complex and high-stakes game of patents.”

The NLJ receives hundreds of nominations for its Trailblazers series each year and is extremely selective in the process of procuring its final Trailblazers lists, choosing individuals who are movers and shakers in the legal industry and who have made an impact in their sectors through the application of new strategies or innovative court cases.