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Paula Jill Krasny


Paula Jill Krasny is a partner in the Intellectual Property Group. For 30+ years she has been devising and implementing strategic, practical and cost-effective solutions to businesses seeking to build, monetize, protect and increase the equity in their brands and other IP assets.

Having served as a leading IP strategist and trusted advisor to some of the world’s leading brands, Paula has extensive experience working in a variety of industries, including consumer products, apparel, finance, insurance, hospitality, professional services, technology, trade associations and non-profits. Paula regularly works with multinational, startup and cross-disciplinary teams. She helps clients realize their business objectives by developing and implementing programs to build global trademark portfolios, reduce the risk of infringements and increase the value of intellectual property assets.

Paula is an international speaker and thought leader and serves on the Board of the Anti-Defamation League (Greater Chicago Upper Midwest Region). She is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, and in 2011, the Anti-Defamation League recognized Paula as a Woman of Achievement, an honor given to select female executives for their civic contributions.

Paula Krasny Headshot

Additional Information

Education & Admissions

  • Northwestern University School of Law, J.D.
  • Vassar College, A.B.
  • Harvard University (visiting undergraduate student)
Bar Admissions
  • Illinois


  • International Trademark Association
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Board of Trustees Member of the DuSable Museum of African American History


  • The Best Lawyers in America, Trademark Law, 2019-2023
  • Illinois Leading Lawyer – IP and Advertising, Illinois Leading Lawyers Network, 2004-2012, 2016-2019
  • AV Preeminent® Rating (highest possible rating) in the Martindale Hubbell Legal Directory based on peer review by lawyers and judges
  • “The World’s Leading Trademark Professionals” World Trademark Review, 2017-2021
  • “Guide to the World’s Leading Trademark Lawyers” Euromoney Legal Media’s Group, 2000-2012, 2016, 2018, 2020
  • “Guide to the World’s Leading Women in Business Law” Euromoney Legal Media Group, 2010-2012, 2015-2018
  • “Woman of Achievement” Anti-Defamation League (Chicago/Midwest Chapter) – Honor given to female executives for their civic contributions, 2011
  • Top 100 Women Business Lawyers in Illinois, Illinois Leading Lawyers Network, 2008-2010
  • Top 100 Women Lawyers in Illinois, Illinois Leading Lawyers Network, 2005-2008


  • What are the top three attributes of your best clients?
    1. They are all really smart. I learn from them.
    2. They involve me in their businesses so that I can provide them with counsel that makes sense in the context of their businesses.
    3. They are good people. They run their businesses with the same values with which they conduct their lives.

  • What’s one thing someone would be surprised to know about you?
    I have my 200-hour level yoga certification, and I have been on stage at both Second City and iO.

  • If you weren’t an attorney, what would you be?
    Art historian. That was my major at Vassar College. In the 1980s, my parents took my sister and me to see Wendy Wasserstein’s play, “The Heidi Chronicles” in New York City. I was either in my last year of law school or my first year of practice. The play opened with Heidi Holland (Joan Allen) delivering a feminist art history lecture. I was weak in the knees, and my heart was racing. I loved art history, but I was embarking on a legal career.

    In the end, it turned out just fine, because as a trademark lawyer, I get to act like an art historian. To do my job effectively, I need to understand culture, society, history, language, symbols and psychology. I get to write and speak about how we perceive things. I am convinced that my grounding in art history provides me a unique skill set, and even a competitive edge.

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