An Interview with John Spangenberger, on his First 6 Months as a New Partner of Lando & Anastasi

Tell me about your background and current IP law practice?

I am an intellectual property attorney at Lando & Anastasi where I focus my practice on patent prosecution, freedom-to-operate, and infringement analysis. My technical background is in the electrical and computer arts, so much of my work involves power distribution, wireless communication, consumer electronics, and medical devices.

What attracted you to Lando & Anastasi?

I interviewed at several different firms when I was considering going into law, and immediately felt such a sense of connection to the folks at L&A. I’ve always felt respected and welcomed here. The work is ever evolving, but my colleagues have maintained the same friendly and collegial spirit since my first day at the firm.

You are now 6 months into law firm partnership.  What is it like to transition from associate to partner?  Have you experienced any unique or unexpected challenges?

As a partner, I am now learning to view the firm as a business.  Becoming familiar with different aspects of the firm, such as the monthly business cycle and the importance of business development, provides me with a new perspective on many areas of my work.  As a partner, I also have more opportunities to contribute to the firm as part of various committees and initiatives.  While becoming a partner has allowed me to take on a more managerial role, which has been an exciting transition, I do love the deep technical work of hands-on law, so I am committed to remaining integrally involved with our clients and strive to maintain a healthy balance of substantive legal work with my expanded management role.

Did you always envision your career leading to partnership at a law firm? Knowing what you know now, do you have any advice for your younger self?

Not at all! During high school, I thought I might enjoy a career in creative writing or law enforcement. Once I discovered my love of physics, I decided to pursue a degree in electrical engineering. I always intended to work as an engineer until I recognized patent law as a potential career path. Since starting at L&A, though, I’ve always known that I wanted to be a partner. I adore the work and my colleagues, so I can’t imagine a better role for me.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I run a few marathons a year, so I’m very often in training! I hope to qualify for the Boston Marathon, but I still need to shave quite a few minutes off my time. I also teach a legal writing class as an adjunct professor at my alma mater, Suffolk University Law School. Outside of that, I’ve recently been traveling quite a bit—I’m currently planning a trip to Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Netherlands in August.

Who has had the greatest influence on your life and/or career thus far?

My father encouraged me to pursue a degree in STEM and, in particular, to apply to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He went to college nearby and had nothing but good things to say about RPI. I’m not sure I ever would’ve discovered patent law had I not gone to RPI. He always wanted me to be an attorney, which I had absolutely no intention of doing until I was about to graduate college. He passed away when I was a teenager, but I’m sure he’d be feeling very smug (and proud) to know that I did eventually go into law!

Do you have any advice for associates hoping to make partner in the future?

One piece of advice: work with as many different practitioners as possible. Early in my career, I often reached out to partners to work on interesting matters that came through our conflict-management system. By the time I became a partner, I had worked one-on-one with nearly every partner. Not only did that make me a better attorney by exposing me to different mentors, but I also established a relationship with individuals outside my immediate practice area. When the time came to consider me for partnership, each of the partners had worked with me enough to have some opinion of me as a partnership candidate.

John T. Spangenberger is a partner at Boston-based IP boutique, Lando & Anastasi, LLP. John can be reached at 617-395-7030 or