October 5, 2011
When Art Peslak is not in the law office, he is in the great outdoors capturing nature with his camera. He uses great focus to create works of art, and expects the same focused results from his legal research. Learn how WestlawNext helps him gain these results while giving him time to pursue bird photography.
HOW DID YOU START PRACTICING LAW?
My background is engineering, which I did for 10 years before pursuing the field of law. While attending law school at night, I still worked as an engineer during the day. Out of law school, I worked for a few big firms in New York City and tried patent law and intellectual property law and really liked it. My goal, however, was always to open my own practice. So, after about 5 years on Wall Street I left and started my own firm in central New Jersey primarily focusing on intellectual property. Another 5 years later, I joined with a friend from law school who also practiced in intellectual property. We had a run at that for ten years before merging with another firm to form our current 7 attorney law firm. We focus mostly on intellectual property, patents, trademarks, etc. In total, I have been practicing law for 22 years.
HOW DID YOU BECOME INTERESTED IN PHOTOGRAPHY?
It started in 1984 when I bought my first film camera. The technology back then was completely different – more difficult to get really good photographs. For example, lenses did not auto focus, film was not digital, and flashes were insufficient without enough natural light outside. So, I photographed on and off until 2001 when digital photography became available, and lens options were better. Digital allows more control over the old process – from taking pictures, to managing them on the computer to processing them. For digital photography smelly chemicals in the darkroom of a basement are not necessary anymore.
WHY PHOTOGRAPH BIRDS?
From the beginning, I was interested in doing nature photography. So, I went to a photography workshop with freelance photographer Arthur Morris, and really got hooked on bird photography. So, for the last 7 years I have been primarily photographing birds. New Jersey is a good place for photography; we are right on the Atlantic Coast Flyway, so we always have a lot of birds coming through. The Jersey Shore is another great place for bird photography. I have also traveled to photograph birds around the country including California, Alaska, Texas, and New Mexico. I have had many of my photographs published in birding magazines and calendars. Additionally, our firm publishes a calendar every year for our clients, and my photography is the monthly picture in the calendar.
WHERE IS THE MOST EXCITING PLACE YOU HAVE PHOTOGRAPHED BIRDS?
The Galapagos Islands for ten days. The experience was so cool and unbelievable to be in such a unique place with many different types of birds and wildlife. And they have no fear of human beings. As soon as I got off the boat, I walked around and could go right up to them to take some amazing pictures.
HOW DO YOU USE WESTLAWNEXT?
WestlawNext is a great tool. All the legal research tools are right there when I need them. It’s great for doing litigation, and finding appropriate statutes of case law. Patent practitioner, specifically, has a lot of research directed toward patent lawyers. Because everything I need is right there, I am more efficient which helps my practice. WestlawNext saves time and money for my clients, especially when I can just sit in my chair and research on my computer, as opposed to spending the day at the library looking for information.
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