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Member Spotlight
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On this page we share interviews by Board Member and
Labor & Employment LawCommittee Co-chair Tejash V. Sanchala, Esq. 
with WCBA members about their experiences and insights.
The articles were originally published in the Member Spotlight column in
the WCBA's Westchester Lawyer magazine, We hope you are inspired by
their stories!

Tejash welcomes your comments and suggestions for future columns.
He can be reached here.


Kyle-Beth Hilfer, Esq.

Number of years as member of WCBA:

WCBA Member for 13 years: co-chair of WCBA Corporate and Commercial Law Committee; chair of the Hospitality Subcommittee; member of the Nominating, Intellectual Property, ADR, and Women in the Law Committees; and previous member of the Grievance Committee.

My current job and practice area:

I practice advertising, marketing, and intellectual property law. I maintain a solo practice and am Of Counsel to Collen IP. My clients include consumer product, luxury, and entertainment companies, restaurants, sports entities, and advertising/marketing/pr agencies. Usually, my practice tracks trends in the marketplace. Current hot topics are disclosures, social media policies, data security, cause marketing, and green marketing initiatives. Sweepstakes, contests, and traditional intellectual property concerns remain constants in my practice.

I was inspired to become a lawyer because:

I have a strong sense of right and wrong and a firm belief in the First Amendment. I considered a career in journalism because writing came easily to me, but I chose law because of my desire to advocate for clients. I have always believed it is an honor and privilege when a client hires me to help with problems, large or small.

A turning point in my legal career:

I had an intellectual property background and wanted to break into entertainment law. A headhunter sent me to an advertising law position. I went skeptically because I had never heard of the field. Nonetheless, after a several hour interview, I accepted the firm’s job offer on the spot without even knowing my salary. I was hooked.

A source of professional pride is:

Developing a successful solo practice after the birth of my first child. Most of my Harvard Law School classmates were with big firms, and there were few role models for me. In the end, it was a great move. Not only did I learn how to run a business, but I also became a more facile and multidimensional lawyer.

If I were not practicing law, I would be:

Running a not-for-profit developing the arts in schools and society at large. Technology makes us more powerful, the arts maintain our humanity.

People may be surprised to learn:

That I am a singer. I studied voice throughout school and beyond. I sing Soprano 1. At my first job after law school, I started an a cappella singing group. I have also performed in New York cabaret shows and choruses in Westchester.

What I splurge on:

Travel. When I see all that people have accomplished in history, both good and bad, I am motivated to meet my potential. I love meeting people and understanding their lives. It puts mine in perspective and keeps me grounded. When I speak in another language, I literally feel my brain working. That has to be healthy.

The best hour of my day is:

3-4pm. I take the hour to talk to my kids when they come home from school. Soon they will all be in college and I’ll need to find a new time slot.

Favorite movie:

Gone with the Wind

What’s on my play list:

All Broadway shows. Ella Fitzgerald. The Marriage of Figaro. Billy Joel. Train. Pink. Lady Gaga’s jazz vocals.

My favorite vacation spot:


Three things I can’t live without:

My family (four wonderful children and my husband), gyro-tonic exercise, and music.

One of my favorite things to do in Westchester:

Walk in Rockefeller State Park.

Best advice I ever got:

It’s a tie. Struggling to balance career and family, my mother advised, “Do the best you can.” It was just that simple. And my mentor Elky Stone, who recently passed away, once chastised me to “Be here.” I was missing something right in front of me because I was too focused on the future.

My advice to new lawyers:

Network and build your reputation, independent of your law firm. Court a mentor. Embrace difficult questions and develop complex answers. Proofread.

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