From The Gainesville Sun - By Anthony Clark
Economic development officials say one of the challenges of luring talent to Gainesville is to find opportunities for trailing spouses. If there is not work in the spouse’s field, the couple might look elsewhere and a local employer or school misses an opportunity.
In the case of Tom and Sheila McThenia, he brought a law firm with expertise in intellectual property and patents so she could go to medical school at the University of Florida.
“This is my turn to trail. She’s followed me to a couple places,” said Tom McThenia Jr., who has practiced law in Raleigh, N.C., Atlanta, Charlottesville, Va., and Orlando.
He spoke by phone while on his way to his son’s baseball game at Oak Hall School.
They moved their family to Gainesville in August 2012 and he opened a small office for GrayRobinson, P.A., in Ayers Technology Plaza in Innovation Square in March 2013. Last month, GrayRobinson moved into a larger office in Ayers with McThenia and Richard “Robie” Robinson as resident attorneys, and room for a few more attorneys as the local practice grows.
GrayRobinson has 280 attorneys and 11 offices in Florida.
McThenia said the firm is looking to grow in business-related services, whether in litigation, trusts or real estate, with an emphasis on intellectual property for tech.
As a registered patent attorney, he has worked with large multinational institutions, universities, startup and tech companies.
“It seems like it’s the right time to come help grow the tech community,” he said.
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