Being a member of the Firm’s Executive Committee. I am incredibly honored that my partners had the confidence to select me to participate in the management of the Firm and some of the most important decisions to the Firm’s success.
The Creation of a thriving Construction Practice Group. In 1995, I started in a different department when I came to the Firm (subrogation) and when I was pregnant with my son, I transitioned to do all construction defense work with a few cases I was given by another partner. Eventually adding more clients, we added lawyers and paralegals to the group. I earned my Board Certification in 2012 and became the leader of the practice group. I would like to think I created some unity to the practice group among the offices.
My grandfather was an attorney. He was the smartest person I knew. He was well-read, intellectual and cared a lot about people and their struggles. Quite frankly, I wanted to be like him. My mother was a huge supporter of my decision to become a lawyer. She retired from court reporting in 2005 but as kid she would take me to watch depositions and I found the process fascinating and could not wait to be the person asking the questions one day.
I would suggest that women talk to other women about what has worked for them. Women should seize opportunities to watch others in marketing or leadership opportunities. For example, initially I would attend conferences watching others speak and then eventually I thought I should throw in my name to speak. Similarly, I would also watch others market and emulate what I liked and fit my style. Lastly, but maybe most important, I would suggest that once you have participated in a professional organization and served on a committee(s), don’t be afraid to ask for a leadership position. I think women have a harder time with self-promotion, and we wait to be recognized as opposed to telling others why we deserve to be the chairperson or a board member. Tell them!
For me, it’s simply rewarding to give back to those in need. Charity is a very personal choice. I was particularly touched by this group of children who age out of foster care because they turned 18 but yet they have no support as they head into the world as an adult. People should do what makes them feel good. I find helping those less fortunate always keep me in check and serves as a reminder that I been very fortunate.
Raising children in this profession no doubt places some competing demands on your time. I would suggest you forge ahead realizing that there will be times when you will feel like you are not putting the most into your child and work. I have always explained to my son why I could not be at certain events because of work. On the other hand, there were events that were not an option to miss so they were put on the calendar and we scheduled around them. I think my son sees me as a role model and he understands why I work hard and how it benefits our family. He’s never made me feel badly about it. I would also suggest that working mothers get support from their family and/or good childcare so you feel content and secure when you leave them.
I am not a fan of the phrase “finding balance” because it implies that we continue searching for this feeling that now you have it all in balance and you are a failure if you don’t wake up one day feeling like it’s all in balance. I suggest you put the most into whatever you are doing at the time—work or family—and set aside the other during that time.