James B. Astrachan
Astrachan Gunst Thomas P.C.
If you’re a member of Baltimore’s advertising community, you probably know James B. Astrachan.
For that matter, you might know him if you have nothing to do with advertising but are a member of the area’s legal or business community.
A 1974 graduate of the University of Baltimore School of Law, Astrachan earned an LLM (an advanced law certificate) in taxation from the Georgetown University Law Center in 1978 and has been working in the field of copyright and trade law for more than a quarter century.
Since 1997, he has been a principal in Astrachan Gunst Thomas, the Baltimore law firm known for its intellectual property practice.
Astrachan also has taught for decades at various area universities, including the University of Baltimore School of Law, Loyola University and the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law.
“I have spent over 25 years teaching in the law schools, speaking, mentoring and writing on legal topics, specifically intellectual property,” Astrachan said. “I have informed and educated others, and have influenced the careers of young lawyers, some of whom have said they became IP lawyers as a result of my law school classes.”
Astrachan cites as his most significant professional accomplishment his co-authoring, with law partner Donna Thomas, the six-volume “The Law of Advertising and Mass Communications.”
For two years earlier this decade, he co-hosted a legal radio show on WYPR.
In 2017, he created and moderated an annual symposium on gun problems and solutions at the University of Baltimore School of Law, and he created and edited the Intellectual Property Handbook for the Maryland State Bar Association.
On the nonprofit side, Astrachan has served as director of the FreeState Legal Project, Inc., as a trustee for the Baltimore Bar Foundation and as director of the Advertising Association of Baltimore.
Astrachan’s work has made him widely recognized as one of the country’s experts in copyright and trademark law, according to Roger Gray, founder, CEO and chairman of GKV Advertising in Baltimore.
“He has been a major contributor to the welfare of Baltimore’s advertising community,” Gray said. Astrachan, Gray added, is not only a respected member of Maryland’s legal community but of the business community at large.
What piece of advice would you give a young attorney today?
Do things outside of your professional comfort zone and do them often (but have someone with experience available with whom you can discuss what you are planning to do, before you do it).
I have informed and educated others, and have influenced the careers of young lawyers, some of whom have said they became IP lawyers as a result of my law school classes.”