Paragon Pages - Summer 2010
Featured Attorney - Sue Krenek

Former life: Director at Howard Rice; VP Legal PC World/Mac Publishing; Clerk for Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

What projects are you working on right now? I'm just finishing a 10-month stint as U.S. online counsel for Apple, handling a variety of online and e-commerce issues. I'm also doing some intellectual property and export compliance work for Autodesk, and working on licensing online and commercial transactions for a few start-up clients.

So you've got quite the variety to keep you busy? That's one of the main reasons I joined the Paragon team. While other firms tend to be geared only toward large legal departments, Paragon has a great blue-chip client roster and allows me to work on a variety of assignments - not all 40 hrs/wk on-site - for a mix of larger and smaller clients.

What else do you like about the Paragon model? It feels a lot like a firm without the drawbacks of the standard big-firm, global hours kind of model. I collaborate frequently with other Paragon attorneys and still get exposure to many types of projects and clients. Plus, I think this model is much better for the clients. The old model is hard on both the attorneys and clients. I also have two young children, so of course the flexibility is a huge benefit.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work? With a two- and five-year-old, most of my non-work activities tend to be mom-related. I serve on the board of directors at my daughter's charter school. I also enjoy reading, both fiction and non-fiction. And keeping up on the latest technology news and innovations.

Safe to say the grass doesn't grow under your feet? Quite so, especially considering that I live on a houseboat in Sausalito. My husband and I have lived on houseboats for about 10 years. We bought our first when we got engaged, not really thinking about life with kids down the road. It's kind of like a Manhattan apartment, except not as small. But we absolutely love it. It's perfect for us, and the world of houseboat owners is very friendly – a true community.

Texas A&M undergrad, UT law school – so Aggies or Longhorns? In my home state I'm mostly just considered confused. Everyone in my family pulls for A&M, and I have many childhood memories rooting for Aggies football. But I also had a fantastic UT experience and lived in Austin for several years after law school. So I basically root for A&M in football and the Longhorns in all the other sports. Like I said, a little confused.

What do you miss most about Texas? Spending time in Austin and enjoying all the live music. Austin just has this great atmosphere and personality – you can't turn a corner without running into someone playing live music. Also, I really miss the excellent Tex-Mex food. Especially chile relleños. I've been searching for some that good ever since I got to California.

What about that famous Texas barbecue? Yeah, I miss that too. An uncle of mine used to compete in barbecue and chili cook-off contests, so it’s kind of in my blood. Flint's BBQ in Oakland is my favorite in the Bay Area. I used to go there regularly and remember the kitchen was always catching fire. That's really the mark of a good barbecue joint.

"Paragon has been an extremely effective solution for us. Over the years they've provided us with flexible, experienced attorneys across a wide range of practice areas including tech transactions, employment, and compliance. To be able to pick-up the phone and get the level of attorney we do from Paragon has been invaluable in helping us execute on initiatives and keep our business clients happy."

Rich Foehr, Vice President, Legal at Autodesk, Inc.

"We came to Paragon with a challenging compliance project. They provided us with a senior attorney who took ownership of the project from start to finish. In addition to competence and on-point legal experience, our Paragon attorney used her organizational, process, and leadership skills to gain the trust of the clients and immediately add value. The Paragon resourcing model was efficient, fruitful and cost effective--overall a very positive and refreshing experience."

Sue Gomez, Director and Senior Legal Counsel, SanDisk Corporation.

Outlook Improving for In-House Counsel

Chief Legal Officers say they plan to put a greater focus on hiring for their internal legal departments this year. In a survey conducted by the ACC, 29% of the top legal officers who responded said they intended to do more hiring in-house for 2010 - up from 23% who planned internal staffing increases in 2009.

Find Your Happy Place

Happy Place
The secret to lasting happiness might be simpler than you think, even with a hectic life in the legal profession. Keep your body happy, and the mind will follow. Catch a few more Zs, get regular exercise, and make time to recharge and think about the big picture. Happiness guru and former attorney Gretchen Rubin offers many more helpful hints for lawyers who've lost their mojo.

Read Article

Lawyers Look to Social Media

A recent survey of in-house counsel indicates social media outlets like blogs, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook are becoming increasingly influential as a method of getting legal information – and even making decisions about law firms. 43% identified blogs as a leading source of news and information, and 53% expected their industry research via new media platforms to increase within the next year.

Sponsoring the American Liver Foundation's June 27 Flavors fundraiser dinner

Thomas Fogarty Winery in Woodside
Paragon was proud to sponsor the American Liver Foundation's June 27 Flavors fundraiser dinner at the beautiful Thomas Fogarty Winery in Woodside. Several notable bay area chefs including Preston Dishman, Executive Chef at Viognier, prepared exquisite dishes tableside, with each table enjoying a unique menu. Amongst Dishman's creations were a creamy risotto with fresh wild mushrooms foraged near the Fogarty Winery, and a delicately sweet early corn soup. Paragon's favorite chocolatier, Michael Recchiuti, also made a generous donation of chocolates and a special kitchen tour to the event.

To learn more about the American Liver Foundation, visit

Rise of GCs Shakes Up Landscape

Do you feel that tenacious rumble - rapidly building momentum? It's the seismic shift that's swinging the balance of power in the legal industry. As the global recession sparks the growth of in-house legal capabilities, drives new billing practices, and limits the market for premium services from traditional firms, GCs are finally rising to "take their rightful place centre stage." That's according to research in a new report released by UK law firm Eversheds. But not everyone is ready to give the results of this study a Richter scale rating just yet. While she agrees with some of the findings, Above the Law’s Kashmir Hill - along with many other analysts and commentators - questions the survey's objectivity and landscape-altering impact. Find out why she’s skeptical of their conclusions and judge for yourself.

Read Article

Review the study (PDF)

Others perspectives on these trends:

ABA Journal: Report finds power shift

The Lawyer: Magic circle tag redundant


We've Been Busy

Every day, more companies are turning to Paragon for on-demand legal expertise. Check out our latest projects to see where our senior-level attorneys have recently helped in-house groups ramp up.

Quarter-end outbound sales licensing
Major public software company in Palo Alto

Major public software company in North Bay

Export compliance
Major public software company; public hardware company in South Bay

Outbound software licensing
Major public software company in SF

Environmental attorney
Public utilities company

Commercial contracts and licensing attorney
Public semi-conductor company; emerging growth digital entertainment company

Medical device attorney
Fortune 100 company in San Jose

IP and content licensing attorney
Public digital entertainment company


New Clients

Paragon is proud to welcome new client Pandora, who has just registered their 60 millionth user. Read more


Join our Team

We're always on the lookout for the bay area's top attorneys. If you have at least 8 years of practice experience, including significant in-house experience, top academic credentials, and the desire to vastly improve the way you practice, please contact us.

Projects currently open:

Full-time, 10-12 mo. | Complex in-bound tech transactions

Half-time, 2-3 mo. | Licensing/commercial contracts

Half-time, 2-3 mo. | Outbound enterprise software licensing/SaaS

10 hrs/wk | Enterprise software licensing/SaaS