Two Parts Lawyer, One Part Psychologist

Bristol has been teaching intellectual property and document drafting at the Colleges of Law since 2014 and feels at home among her peers.

Erica Bristol

Prof. Erica Bristol is the owner of EB Resource Group, where she brings her legal knowledge to intellectual property mediation, consulting and education.

“A mediator is two parts facilitator, one part psychologist,” she says. “Understanding the key factors motivating each side in a legal dispute and knowing how to communicate with each side are just as important as understanding the legal dispute itself. My job is to find resolutions that both parties can agree to, saving them time and money spent in court.”

Bristol’s curious side loves the challenge of studying up on different industries and issues—open-source software, trademarks, design patents, membership databases, works of art—to name a few. “I have to know every pertinent detail about that industry or technology to establish credibility in the mediation process, and it’s exciting to me,” she says. “Intellectual property law protects the creators in our society—those that foster innovation, creativity, and change. I love being a part of that.”

Bristol has been teaching intellectual property and document drafting at the Colleges of Law since 2014 and feels at home among other professors/practicing attorneys who bring current business knowledge into the classroom.

“Along with teaching the law, I think it’s important to teach practical skills because theory can only take a lawyer so far,” she says. “When my students have completed the class, I like to make sure they have at least one or two practical skills such as conducting a trademark clearance, drafting contract language, or navigating the trademark and copyright office databases.”

She says that having earned her law degree from a big, traditional law school, the Colleges of Law feels like an oasis. “The flexibility and support students receive is pretty special,” she says. “And the students I’ve had are really intelligent and focused. I know our college produces excellent attorneys.”

Bristol has been so impressed that she hired one student to work on an intellectual property review for a large state agency with fantastic results. “I completely relied on her research in our briefings,” she says. “Her work was instrumental in the success of that project.”

In addition to teaching and running her business, Bristol is the Chair of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee in the Litigation Section of the California State Bar and serves on the Executive Committee for the State Bar’s Intellectual Property Law Section.

“Being able to help people and move the field forward are huge motivations for me, so I feel honored to be able to share my experience with students at the Colleges of Law,” she says. “It’s a caring and down-to-earth community that wants every student to do well. I’m proud to be a part of that legacy in the community.”