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Following her Heart from Literature to Law

Kate (Leidemer) Mahan is a 2002 English graduate of Saint Anselm who now practices business lawWhen you own a business, your unique product-whether it's a cupcake or computer code-is the key to your success. Enter Kate (Leidemer) Mahan '02 who helps businesses big and small, maintain trade secrets and other intellectual property as an associate attorney at Manchester, N.H., law firm Cook, Little, Rosenblatt & Manson.

Kate also handles patent, trademark, and copyright cases as well as corporate governance disputes, contract actions, and employment matters.

The complex intellectual property cases are the ones Kate enjoys most.

"Trade secrets are really the heart of a company. If the company's formula is made public then what they have is potentially useless," says Kate. "I'm protecting someone's livelihood, their business."

She works through appeals, drafts motions, conducts discovery, takes depositions and of course, argues cases. She credits arguing in her Saint Anselm humanities seminar as the place where it all started.

"Saint A's, from the first humanities class, taught me to read analytically, question what the issues are and what the author is trying to convey. As a lawyer I need to see the issues and the facts and work with them."

Kate wanted to be a lawyer from an early age. Advised by family friends in the legal field to study literature, she followed her love of reading straight to an English degree.

"All the lawyers I spoke with told me that the most important skill a lawyer can possess is the ability to analyze text and write well," says Kate.

She still refers to an English class on writer D.H. Lawrence taught by Professor Ann Norton as the course that flexed her mind. "There the big picture thinking just clicked. I had to think bigger than the words on the page and now it's what I do every day."

"In law school, I had such a leg up because I was prepared for big picture thinking. Saint A's did that."

When she isn't arguing a case, Kate stays in touch with her friends on the Hilltop as a member of the Alumni Council and the co-chair of the Young Alumni Initiative. Her focus is to continue to grow the Anselmian network for new and young alumni.