When did you first become interested in law?
My parents literally told me that I was going to be a lawyer from the first day I can remember careers being raised as a topic in my home. They wanted me to have a degree that would allow me not to have to be dependent on a man to feed my children.
How do you think firms/companies can develop environments fertile for success?
Teach your associates by propping them up for their good work rather than hammering them down for their mistakes. Take all associates to prospective client pitches and initial client meetings from the first day. Business development suddenly becomes key in the years just before partnership consideration, and most associates have no idea where to start. It should be ingrained in them by that time. Also, give young associates leadership opportunities within the firm.
What strategies do you employ to win business?
I speak and mentor at various startup accelerator and incubator programs around Chicago. I also get very involved in the organizations I commit to, such as the Coalition of Women’s Initiatives in Law and the Small Business Advocacy Counsel, through which I run venture pitch sessions. I continue to network and meet people whom my trusted connections believe would be helpful to my career and/or believe I could be helpful to.
By what standards do you measure success?
Leadership and influence. Having achieved success to me means that younger women lawyers look up to me as a mentor and want to learn from my accomplishments.