Munck Wilson Mandala LLP is set to open an Austin office Oct. 1 near Capital of Texas Highway and MoPac Expressway with a unique structure that executives hope attract innovative technology companies and startups.
The Dallas-based law firm's third office will be led by Partner Michael Rodriguez, who specializes in patent issues. The other partners in the office are Jennifer Jasper and Michael Noe.
Rodriguez, Jasper and Noe all have experience in patent and trademark law. Munck Wilson Mandala's Austin office will also provide copyright and trademark enforcement and corporate law services.
In the next six months, Munck Wilson Mandala hopes to add four to five attorneys at the new location and about three support staff said Rodriguez. The firm's head office in North Texas has more than 50 attorneys.
Rodriguez, a U.S. Navy Reserve veteran and member of the 2017 Leadership Class at the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, settled on the roughly 4,500-square-foot office space near Westlake to be closer to potential clients such as the many software companies that call the Capital of Texas Highway corridor home.
"It will keep us closer to where we have identified as an area of interest for technology businesses," he said.
Rodriguez also said he is specifically interested in representing clean tech companies — his wife is pursuing a graduate degree in environmental science — and Hispanic-owned companies.
"Austin is one of the areas in the country where the Hispanic community is doing very well, but I don't believe they have had the most attention focused on them legally," he said.
Rodriguez said Munck Wilson Mandala's wider services offered out of its Dallas office, such as labor and employment law representation, plus the small size of its Central Texas location will enable it to nimbly respond to the quick-changing needs of equally nimble Austin startups.
"We are different because we are both a small firm and a large firm," he said.
Will Anderson coordinates digital coverage of business news.