Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 40

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT
the firm, I went out to lunch with a partner
who is my mentor. It was a dimly lit restaurant.
I was ready. I had my cane. I had all the skills
I had learned, and I was able to have a normal
lunch and not worry about my vision the
entire time."
Before his diagnosis, Mitchell's chief conflict
was figuring out whether his career would be
governed by engineering or law. After graduating from college with a chemical engineering
degree, Mitchell worked at Cummins Emissions
Solutions in Indiana as a product development
engineer, designing and validating catalytic
emissions control devices for diesel engines.
"It wasn't the most innovative choice for a
college degree," says Mitchell. "My two aunts,
an uncle, my dad, and my older sister are all
chemical engineers, and my dad and aunt both
ended up going to law school."

Space for photo. Photo provided was
low res.

In 2012, Mitchell arrived at GW Law. From day
one he knew he wanted to be in patent law,
and not just because his father is a patent
attorney. He liked the idea of applying his technical training, and where better than patents?
He also knew he would have access to a lot of
different technologies, exploring everything
from pharmaceuticals to lubricants to organic
solar cells.
"The bulk of my practice is patent prosecution,
and the other portion is new patent appeal
board proceedings," says Mitchell, who represents petitioners and patent owners in inter
partes review proceedings at the U.S. Patent and
Trademark Office. "I'm a patent attorney for life."

LAW & HOCKEY

Mitchell with his wife, Katie, and daughters, Ellie and Emma, at his first international blind
hockey competition last fall.

A big factor in Mitchell's renewal came at an
unlikely place, the MedStar Capitals Iceplex in
Arlington. He had heard through a friend that a
local blind hockey team practiced at the ice rink.
After playing hockey in high school, he was proficient, but he doubted that blind hockey would
hold much promise for him.

B3 for those with 10 percent vision or less. When
playing competitively, the mix of players and
their positions is based on their lack of vision.
Blind hockey uses a larger puck, which is filled
with noisy ball bearings. The net is a foot
shorter than that used in the National Hockey
League.

"I was pretty skeptical at first," he says. "How in
the world does that work? How can you play
hockey blind or visually impaired? The thing that
struck me at first was how remarkably similar it is
to sighted hockey. For being an adaptive sport,
there are not that many differences."

"Everybody has different underlying conditions,"
says Mitchell, who is a B3. "On a line, you might
have someone who has no peripheral vision or
someone who is looking through a straw. Part
of being on the team, and being successful, is
strategizing about where to put certain people
based on their lack of vision."

The D.C. blind hockey team - open to both
novices and veterans - designates players
based on their vision level: B1 for the blind, B2
for individuals with 5 percent vision or less, and

40 WASHINGTON LAWYER

*

JUNE 2020

The camaraderie among the players has become
an invaluable part of his life, says Mitchell. The
team has been a source of wisdom, humor, and

good advice on navigating the sighted world.
They also inspire him, both in how they live
their lives and how they won't let anything
hold them back.
"I don't think it's an overstatement to say the
combination of starting the [rehabilitation]
training and playing blind hockey has resulted
in a 180-degree turn in my life," says Mitchell.
"I now feel like I can continue to practice law
and be a part of my community."

Sarah Kellogg is a regular contributor to
Washington Lawyer.

Photos: Noah Willman Photography



Washington Lawyer - June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - June 2020

YOUR VOICE
FROM OUR PRESIDENT
PRACTICE MANAGEMENT
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
BAR BUSINESS: BUDGET REPORT
MEET GEOFFREY M. KLINEBERG: 49TH PRESIDENT OF THE D.C. BAR
MOVING THE NEEDLE ON LAW FIRM DIVERSITY
THE 2020 JOHN PAYTON LEADERSHIP ACADEMY
JAMES SANDMAN GOES BACK TO SCHOOL
LAW & SERVICE: OAG CONNECTS TO THE COMMUNITY
ON FURTHER REVIEW
THE LEARNING CURVE
MEMBER SPOTLIGHT
WORTH READING
ATTORNEY BRIEFS
DISCIPLINARY SUMMARIES
THE PRO BONO EFFECT
SPECIAL SECTION: UNFINISHED FIGHT
LAST WORD
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - Cover1
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - Cover2
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 1
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 2
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 3
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 4
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - YOUR VOICE
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - FROM OUR PRESIDENT
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 7
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - PRACTICE MANAGEMENT
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 9
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - BAR BUSINESS: BUDGET REPORT
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - MEET GEOFFREY M. KLINEBERG: 49TH PRESIDENT OF THE D.C. BAR
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 13
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 14
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 15
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 16
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 17
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - MOVING THE NEEDLE ON LAW FIRM DIVERSITY
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 19
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 20
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 21
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 22
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 23
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - THE 2020 JOHN PAYTON LEADERSHIP ACADEMY
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 25
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 26
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 27
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - JAMES SANDMAN GOES BACK TO SCHOOL
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 29
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 30
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 31
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - LAW & SERVICE: OAG CONNECTS TO THE COMMUNITY
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 33
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - ON FURTHER REVIEW
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 35
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - THE LEARNING CURVE
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 37
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - MEMBER SPOTLIGHT
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 39
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 40
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 41
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - WORTH READING
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - ATTORNEY BRIEFS
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - DISCIPLINARY SUMMARIES
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 45
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - THE PRO BONO EFFECT
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 47
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 48
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 49
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - SPECIAL SECTION: UNFINISHED FIGHT
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - 51
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - LAST WORD
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - Cover3
Washington Lawyer - June 2020 - Cover4
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