Team Player

Patrick Gallagher uses what he learned as a kid on the playing fields every day

Published in 2009 Minnesota Rising Stars magazine

By Jimmy Osterholt on January 1, 2009


Baseball. Soccer. Softball. Hockey. Football. Lacrosse. There’s hardly a sport Patrick Gallagher hasn’t played. And there’s hardly a lesson he says he hasn’t learned from playing them.

Gallagher, an intellectual property lawyer at Fulbright & Jaworski who played college soccer, says sports taught him the value of competitiveness, training and teamwork. The teamwork part especially. 

The “team approach makes all the difference, whether it’s to obtain the victory in a courtroom or to successfully register the trademark at the patent office or to resolve a dispute favorably for your client,” he says. 

He still plays hockey in adult leagues in St. Paul—“we all have day jobs to go to but you see that competitive aspect”—and takes pride in getting up early to hit the gym before work. 

Gallagher stumbled into the IP field almost accidentally, having been assigned to a trademark case as a paralegal early in his career. His success in the field, however, is no accident. Again, he credits “that team mentality,” which he also expresses in his commitment to mentoring and teaching. As a mentor at the firm, and in seminars that he teaches at William Mitchell, he tries to “set an example for how to conduct yourself when you’re practicing as a lawyer. Everybody has a role and everybody is important,” he says. 

Outside the courtroom, Gallagher spends most of his time coaching. Since his oldest, now 13, was young, he has been coaching his kids’ teams in some capacity. (He and his wife have four kids.) He has coached baseball and soccer but “the big ones now are hockey and lacrosse.” Whatever the sport, though, the lessons are the same: competition, training and teamwork. They worked for him.

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