Case Studies

At Home at George Washington University: A Story of secondment


George Washington University


Partner Ellen Dwyer.
Partner Bryan Brewer.
Counsel Mary Anne Schofield.


Longtime client, George Washington University (GW), temporarily lost its internal IP resource and did not have sufficient in-house legal resources to serve and advance its IP work. Committed to expanding our partnership with GW, we offered to provide the client with an experienced IP lawyer until a permanent solution could be found.


At Crowell & Moring, secondments reinforce one of our central principles – investing in our client relationships to provide long-term value. Our lawyer quickly became a core member of GW’s in-house team.

Through our lawyer’s presence at GW, and our dedicated efforts to continually build the relationship, identify GW’s needs, and offer solutions, we learned that GW was interested in further developing its technology transfer and licensing work. We introduced the client to our corporate team, who partnered with GW to help develop its core principles, philosophy, and documents with respect to its technology transfer and innovation.


Taking on this new work was a natural outgrowth of our seconded arrangement, and is emblematic of how we cross-team to nurture our client relationships. The impact was two-fold: not only did we help GW to expand its internal IP capacity, but we also provided GW with the experience necessary to allow the University to navigate more complex IP and transactional issues in its technology transfer program.


Crowell & Moring has invested in important ways in building a valuable and enduring relationship with GW, including seconding one of its lawyers to fill a critical need on our team on a temporary basis. The innovative arrangement worked out very well for us and we were extremely pleased with the quality of lawyering and value we received.

- Beth Nolan, Senior Vice President & General Counsel, The George Washington University
Crowell & Moring LLP is an international law firm with more than 500 lawyers representing clients in litigation and arbitration, regulatory, and transactional matters. The firm is internationally recognized for its representation of Fortune 500 companies in high-stakes litigation, as well as its ongoing commitment to pro bono service and diversity. The firm has offices in Washington, DC, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Orange County, London, and Brussels.

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