What are some of your proudest recent achievements?
I’m proud to be the face and voice of an office where I’ve spent my entire legal career, in one of the most important legal markets in the world. I’ve continued to move our growing office in a direction that’s important to me personally, recognizing the power that a strong and diverse firm culture has in inspiring our colleagues to invest in their own careers, our firm and the New York community.
We’ve been remarkably successful in growing the office both organically and through the lateral market, with recent corporate and white collar laterals in particular adding to an already-strong bench. None of this has happened at the expense of our office culture. I’m particularly proud of our new wellness initiatives (including the establishment of an active wellness committee), which have taken on added significance in a remote working environment; our partnership with a local, youth-focused community organization to ensure that our office is leading not just with messaging, but with action; our engagement with law school career offices to re-introduce them to our growing office and collaborative culture; and my personal involvement in several pro bono matters that have directly impacted the lives of those who need our support. And I’m proud that all of these initiatives are focused not just on our terrific lawyers, but on our equally valuable staff, who drive our office in ways big and small.
Name a lawyer or mentor whose leadership inspired you.
Two mentors at Mayer Brown, Steve Wolowitz and Jason Kravitt, have inspired me through the examples they’ve set – in growing practice groups, cultivating talent, and always being gracious and generous to those around them.
How are the business and profession of law changing, and how should lawyers adapt for the future?
Our clients are our partners. We need to have a deep commercial instinct not just to understand the nuts and bolts of their business, but to understand the pressures and challenges that in-house counsel face with their own internal clients. We also need to understand that the values that are important to law firms—wellness, diversity, pro bono and others—are equally important to our clients, providing multiple partnership opportunities.
We must be mindful that five generations are currently working within a law firm environment. Generational expectations have shifted; goals and priorities are different, work habits are different and modes of communication are different. Different generations need to embrace and learn from each other.
Relatedly, there is little chance that any lawyer can succeed in the future (and to some extent now) without being technologically savvy. Clients demand it and proper management of any matter—litigation or deal—requires it.
What is the best advice for someone considering a career in law, or somebody already in the profession who is seeking to make a greater impact?
Think about what you’re passionate about and pursue it, or figure out what you’re good at and try to develop a passion for it. If you join a firm, from the outset invest in your career, your practice group, and your firm by being as well rounded as possible. Always perform your client work at the highest level. Contribute to your community by championing pro bono work. Train and mentor others, always keeping in mind those who helped pave your path. Try your best to be a student of the firm, and always think like a client. And while you do all of these things, always show appreciation and respect for your colleagues at every level, including staff.
Being a lawyer is a challenging, rewarding and noble profession that empowers us to do well and do good. Always seek to achieve both.
Reprinted with permission from the October 23, 2020 edition of New York Law Journal © 2020 ALM Properties, Inc. All rights reserved. Further duplication without permission is prohibited.