The Unicorn

Jessie Pellant turns a wild idea— a hybrid law firm/creative agency—into reality

Published in 2023 Colorado Super Lawyers magazine

By Rebecca Mariscal on March 1, 2023

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While working in intellectual property law at a large firm in the early 2010s, Jessie Pellant repeatedly tried to push the idea of reaching out to creative agencies to synergize between a client’s legal work and brand work. “We’re getting cease and desist letters for our client brands that were never researched and cleared, never vetted after they spent $20,000 on their branding package,” she says. “And I was like, ‘There needs to be a better system for this.’”

Her idea wasn’t getting much traction. “It takes so long to get anything approved,” she says. “There’s red tape. I wasn’t in charge of anything, right? I was a good attorney with a wild idea. So I was like, ‘OK, I think this just needs to be something that I’m going to try to do.”

The wild idea became StudioIP, which Pellant founded in 2016 and inside which she launched a full creative agency in October 2021.

The creative side starts with a focus on the client’s brand. “Do they have a logo? Do they have a website? Do they have a voice? A character?” Then the legal side weaves in: “Clearing the brand as it’s being created. It’s basically copyrighting the website that’s being created, making sure all the use of an IP is correct on the website, terms of use are proper, privacy policies proper, looking at protecting the actual assets themselves.”

The two sides continue to work together as the client grows and expands, creates new products or rebrands. “This all goes down to minimizing risk and increasing value for our companies,” she says. “We see the value in what we do, and then just becoming a partner with them to then create, connect and enforce a powerhouse brand.”

The entire team meets monthly, updating each other on important aspects of their work. “The right hand then knows what the left is doing,” Pellant says. The legal side can clear brands for creative before they start developing, and that initial phase is key. “You don’t have these unknowns that are sitting out there that may come out of the woodwork and really jeopardize the brand.”

Though she focuses on the legal side, Pellant has always had a creative side. She has a degree in musical theater, and has performed on tours and in New York. “While I do not pose myself as a marketer or a creative,” she says, “I definitely love that side of things. I think that probably allows me to think a little more outside the box than a typical lawyer.”

Her company’s Unicorn brand, created by the marketing team, represents that. “We’re wildly different from any other law firm—or marketing agency for that matter,” Pellant says. “That’s who we want to be.”

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