Interview with James Daily, Post-Doctoral Research Associate and The Law of Superheroes Co-Author
We recently had the great fortune to interview Missouri attorney James Daily, discussing what’s helped him most in his legal career, as well as his recommendation for individuals considering becoming a paralegal. James earned a BA degree in Mathematics and Computer Science from Hendrix College. He later continued his studies at Washington University in St. Louis, earning an MS degree in Computer Science, as well as a JD degree. Together with fellow attorney, Ryan Davidson, he authored the book, The Law of Superheroes, which analyzes the intersection of the law and comic book characters in an entertaining way.
How many years have you worked as an attorney, James?
Since graduating law school in 2008, I have worked for the Stanford University Hoover Institution’s Project on Commercializing Innovation. As an academic, I did not have to take the bar, but I did in 2010 and so have been an attorney for three years.
Could you tell us what led you to become an attorney?
I wanted to become a patent attorney in order to blend my interests in the law and technology.
What do you enjoy most about working in a legal profession?
My job with the Project on Commercializing Innovation gives me an opportunity to think deeply about important legal and policy issues, and my work with clients gives me an opportunity to solve specific real-world problems.
Your book, The Law of Superheroes, has been applauded for presenting legal principles in an entertaining manner. Why do you think it’s of benefit to those in the legal field, in particular?
In some ways, comic books are an ideal source of legal hypotheticals for several reasons. The first is sheer variety: over the decades the industry has produced tens of thousands of books that have covered almost every imaginable topic. The second is their broad and immediate appeal: almost everyone is already familiar with major characters like Batman, Superman, Iron Man, and so forth, and even minor characters are interesting because of their powers or origin story. The third is that many characters exist in multiple versions, whether because of reboots, alternate realities, or just different writers. We can compare those different versions to see how the legal result might be different as the facts change in subtle or not-so-subtle ways.
What did you learn in school that helped you the most in your career?
The substantive and practical intellectual property courses have helped the most.
From an attorney’s perspective, what advice would you give to paralegals that are new to the field, or those who will soon graduate from a paralegal program?
Stick with it, and Don’t Go to Law School (Unless).
We thank James for talking to us about his experiences as a legal professional. To further connect with James, pick up a copy of his book, The Law of Superheroes, or visit his blog, Law and the Multiverse: Superheroes, Supervillains, and the Law.