Erica's focus in intellectual property law extends to assisting with transactional, licensing, and various business matters in multiple industries, including matters in the hemp and CBD industries. She is available to assist hemp breeders, growers, processors, manufacturers, distributors, retailers and other market participants with brand protection for hemp and hemp-derived marks, Federal, state, and local legal and regulatory compliance matters, and agreements within the industry.
Prior to joining Ward and Smith, P.A., Erica received her J.D. from The University of New Hampshire School of Law's Franklin Pierce Intellectual Property law program in 2016, a top-10 intellectual property program in the United States, where she was an associate editor of the IDEA: The Journal of the Franklin Pierce Center for Intellectual Property. While in law school, she interned with Sony Music Entertainment's Legal Affairs Department in New York, NY and completed the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Law School Trademark Clinic Certification.
- J.D., University of New Hampshire, Franklin Pierce School of Law, 2016; Editor, IDEA: The Journal of the Franklin Pierce Center for Intellectual Property
- B.M., Piano Performance, magna cum laude, Meredith College, 2013
- B.A., Spanish, magna cum laude, Meredith College, 2013
Honors and Distinctions*
- "Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch," Best Lawyers®, 2022
- "IP Star," Managing Intellectual Property, 2020/2021
- "Tomorrow's Leader," International Trademark Association, 2017
Professional and Community Affiliations
- International Trademark Association (INTA)
- National LGBTQ+ Bar Association
- North Carolina Bar Association — Sections: Young Lawyers' Division; Intellectual Property Law
- Triangle Intellectual Property Law Association (TIPLA)
- Triangle ArtWorks Law + ArtWorks
Admitted to Practice
- North Carolina, 2016
- United States District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of North Carolina, 2018
Practicing intellectual property law allows me to be at the intersection of creativity and structure. My desire to be in this profession stems from studying piano performance (and Spanish) in college. When I realized a career in music was not for me, I was pushed to law. I discovered lawyers could work for musicians, and working in intellectual property law is the logical continuation of that discovery. It is motivating to provide the legal structure to support the continuous creativity of businesses and individuals, and that's not to say there isn't a lot of creativity in the practice of law – there is both. I'm confident that is why I love the practice of law. It is the constant challenge, the drive to help others, and the unpredictability that motivate me.
If you really want to know me, let's talk about one of my favorite topics – international travel and understanding different cultures, or on a less serious note, ask me about my cat Carnegie."
* Please see the following websites for an explanation of the membership standards for the following recognitions: www.bestlawyers.com; businessnc.com/special-sections/legal-elite/; and www.superlawyers.com/north-carolina.
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