Suzann Moskowitz is approaching the 10th anniversary of The Moskowitz Firm in Cleveland next year, where she works primarily on trademark, copyright and technology matters.
“My client relationships usually begin during a happy, preventative care time and then I’m able to really get to know them, know their business,” she said. “So, if a problem does arise, I’m personally able to give them a tailored solution that’s going to be cost-effective and really suited to who they are and what kind of business they run.”
Prior to founding the firm, Moskowitz worked at a larger firm with entrepreneurs, which gave her “the bug” to start her business. She was always interested in consumer protection as a child. She recalls watching the television show “Fight Back,” in which consumer advocate David Horowitz took on big businesses and fought against poor service and practices for consumers.
“I just hated the idea of someone being ripped off,” she said. “To me, false advertising, especially to kids or vulnerable populations, felt like a real crime.”
Moskowitz calls her job a great hybrid between being a lawyer and a marketing executive to protect ideas and brands. This specialization interested her when she worked as a legal assistant at Newsweek magazine for about
1½ years between her undergraduate schooling and law school at Stanford University in Stanford, Calif.
“It gave me an understanding of how important it is to actually protect your brands once you’ve built them,” she explained. “Not every company has physical goods. Sometimes what we’re really protecting are the ideas and the brands themselves.”
As Moskowitz combines her legal and business expertise to run her business, she combines professional and personal passions to help others. She uses her ability as a lawyer and business owner to do reduced rate and pro bono intellectual property work for arts organizations.
“Personally, I’m not much of an artist,” she admitted. “I feel like it’s important to support the arts, so the best way that I can is by doing pro bono IP work for them as much as possible. That’s one of the nice things about working for myself, too. There’s no real limit to how much pro bono and reduced rate work I can do.”
As a resident of Shaker Heights and being involved in Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, a program of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association in Cleveland, she has a soft spot for local organizations. She also does work for nonprofits and businesses all over the country and the world. Moskowitz said she feels if she has access to her law degree, she can use a specialized skill set to provide more targeted help for organizations.
“In addition to donating to community organizations, I think pro bono work is a great way to give tzedakah,” she said. “I try to also point out to my children that I’m doing this work. Giving of our time is one of the most valuable things we can do when we’re so busy.”
Marissa Nichol is a freelance writer.