Profiles In Diversity Journal Honors Maria Anderson and Christy Lea for Women Worth Watching in Leadership Awards

| Maria AndersonChristy Lea

IRVINE/SEATTLE, October 4, 2023 – Knobbe Martens partners Maria Anderson and Christy Lea have achieved prestigious recognition as recipients of  2023 “Women Worth Watching in Leadership Awards” from Profiles in Diversity Journal®. This esteemed accolade is a testament to their exceptional leadership skills and unwavering commitment to their professional roles, families, and community.

Profiles in Diversity Journal® is dedicated to promoting and advancing diversity, inclusion, and equity in the corporate, government, nonprofit, STEM, and higher education sectors. The acknowledgment of Maria Anderson and Christy Lea underscores their outstanding contributions to fostering these values within their spheres of influence.   

Maria Anderson, a standout patent attorney and esteemed leader at Knobbe Martens, provides comprehensive, strategic client counseling in all aspects of intellectual property. Her prowess in leadership is evident through her extensive experience in various management roles across multiple organizations. Ms. Anderson has not only taken on leadership roles but has also founded committees and initiatives that underscore her commitment to fostering collaboration and advancement of women and members of minoritized groups. Notably, at Knobbe Martens, Ms. Anderson established the Women Partners Subcommittee, a dynamic initiative actively promoting teamwork and collaboration among the firm’s women partners. Furthermore, Ms. Anderson cofounded the Social Justice Committee for the Chiefs of Intellectual Property (ChIPs), a significant organization committed to connecting and advancing women in intellectual property and technology law. Her involvement in such impactful initiatives highlights her broader commitment to social justice and equality within the legal landscape.

Ms. Anderson's dedication extends beyond her immediate professional sphere. Her unwavering commitment to improving the legal industry for the next generation of women lawyers is truly inspirational. Balancing a thriving career with a profound commitment to positive change, Ms. Anderson sets a commendable example for aspiring professionals in her field.

In her profile, Ms. Anderson discussed how the hard lessons she’s learned throughout her career helped grow her passion for improving diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in intellectual property law. “It is the threshold that must be crossed to make room for different views, experiences and solutions, both in society and in science,” she said.

Christy Lea, a distinguished first-chair litigator and Co-chair of Knobbe Martens’ esteemed Medical Device Litigation group, is widely recognized for her exceptional expertise in navigating high-stakes patent and trade secret disputes at both the trial and appellate levels. Beyond her role as Co-chair, Ms. Lea holds key positions in management and leadership within the firm, exemplifying her commitment to excellence. In addition to her pivotal role in leading the Medical Device Litigation group, Ms. Lea is a founding member of Knobbe Martens’ Pro Bono and Diversity Committees. She plays pivotal roles in fostering diversity and giving back to the legal community. Furthermore, Ms. Lea spearheads the firm’s engagement in the American Intellectual Property Law Association’s annual “Women in IP” Global Networking Event, an initiative that unites thousands of women IP attorneys worldwide to celebrate women in IP.

Beyond her professional achievements, Ms. Lea is a dedicated advocate for social causes. She actively fundraises for various non-profit organizations and, in 2022, served as the President of Orange County’s Public Law Center (PLC) Board of Directors. Currently holding the position of Immediate Past President, she continues to make significant contributions to the community. Ms. Lea’s commitment extends globally, as evidenced by her recent trip to El Salvador with her teenage daughter, where they dedicated their time to serving teen orphans and feeding the homeless. Her ability to balance a busy litigation practice with impactful service to low-income communities both locally and abroad serves as an inspiration to many.

In reflecting on her journey, Ms. Lea attributes her success to her parents, who encouraged her to major in engineering, ultimately paving the way for her distinguished legal career. “I learned to value my relationships with colleagues and clients, work hard, and make the best legal arguments possible,” she shares in her profile, encapsulating the principles that have guided her remarkable professional journey.

To view the Third Quarter issue of Profiles in Diversity Journal® and read the full profiles of the distinguished honorees, click here.

About Knobbe Martens

Knobbe Martens is a highly respected intellectual property law firm, offering legal services in all aspects of intellectual property and technology law. The firm’s litigation group handles cases throughout the U.S. and coordinates strategy for disputes worldwide. Founded in California in 1962, the firm has close to 300 lawyers and scientists based in offices located in Orange County, Los Angeles, New York, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington D.C. Knobbe Martens serves a diverse international client base, from multinational corporations to emerging businesses of all stages. More information about the firm can be found at