Alumni Spotlight: Laura Covington (J.D.'91)

Justice Carley

News @ Georgia Law May 2011 Alumni Profile


Name: Laura Hauck Covington
Associate General Counsel, Global Brands and Copyright/Global IP Policy
Employer Name:
Sunnyvale, Calif.         
Number of years at Yahoo:
Georgia Law graduation year:
Other degree(s)/institution(s)/year(s):
B.A. in Journalism/UGA/1981


1. Who were your favorite Georgia Law professors?

  • R. Perry Sentell (torts) and (then Professor) Rebecca H. White (labor and employment).


2. What is your most memorable experience from your time at Georgia Law?

  • Winning the first-year moot court competition.


3. Where was your favorite place to study during law school? 

  • The law library (although it wasn't always the most efficient place for me).


4. Please give a brief description of your responsibilities at Yahoo.  

  • I have the great good fortune to manage a knowledgeable and dedicated team of attorneys and paralegals who specialize in "soft IP:" trademarks, domains, copyright and related content issues such as rights of publicity. My team coordinates the development and protection of Yahoo!'s soft IP assets worldwide. We draft and negotiate promotional, co-branding, sponsorship, permissions and other licensing agreements and are the go-to team for soft IP litigation and conflicts. We also support Yahoo!'s corporate transactions team on mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and joint ventures. I personally am most directly involved in counseling and product risk analysis, third party issues and defensive litigation, our public policy relating to these areas, how soft IP ownership is managed within our global corporate structure, and high profile or strategic alliances.


5. What made you pursue a career as in-house counsel? 

  • I joined Yahoo! in 1999 at the peak of the boom. It was - and still is - incredibly exciting. Being in-house here means not only being involved in the legal issues, but also being a business and strategic partner for my clients. 


6. What do you enjoy most about your job? What is the most rewarding aspect? 

  • The variety of issues that come across my desk is amazing. I am never, ever bored. And being in this business guarantees involvement in shaping cutting edge legal issues.


7. What do you enjoy doing in your free time? What are your hobbies?

  • Spending time with my family, especially cycling with my husband and my son; yoga; cooking; and reading.


8. If you could share an afternoon with anyone, with whom would you choose to spend it?  

  • My husband, son, parents, brother and his family.  Or George Clooney.  


9. What would you consider your greatest accomplishment in life?

  • My 8 year old son, although I can't take all the credit for what a great kid he is.


10. When you look out your office window, what do you see? 

  • The entrance to Yahoo!'s campus, lots of trees and the American flag.