June 1, 2018 — On May 18, Patrice Jean was awarded "Private Practitioner of the Year" by the Metropolitan Black Bar Association (MBBA).
Jean was honored at MBBA's 34th Anniversary Awards Gala at Pier Sixty in New York. Hughes Hubbard was among the sponsors of the Gala.
In a video presentation introducing Jean, she discussed her nontraditional path to patent law. After earning a doctoral degree in molecular biology from Princeton University, Jean thought she would be a research scientist for the rest of her life. But during a research stint at Bristol Myers Squibb, Jean met some patent lawyers and decided to pursue a career in intellectual property law.
In her acceptance speech, Jean said her experiences earning her Ph.D. weren't all positive, which led her to dedicate herself to ensuring every community she worked in was fair and inclusive for everyone. "I quickly learned when you're different and you're the one that's trying to make a difference," she said, "that the best way to make an impact is to be kind, to be authentic, to be generous and to be passionate."
The Gala drew coverage in the New York Law Journal and the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.
Formed in 1984, the MBBA was created from the merger of the Harlem Lawyers Association, founded in 1921, and the Bedford Stuyvesant Lawyers Association, founded in 1933. As one of the largest organizations of black attorneys in the state of New York, the MBBA continues the legacy of its two predecessor organizations by providing a voice for black legal professionals.