Best Lawyers / "Women in the Law" Spring Business Edition 2017

Was there anyone along the way who mentored or influenced your work?

Bruce Boruszak, my summer associate mentor and one of the chairs of the real estate department when I started practicing law, was my mentor. We worked closely on a number of deals for the first seven years of my practice and continue to work on deals together now that he became general counsel. Aside from him, I would credit my clients with mentoring and influencing my work. While not attorneys for the most part, they are truly wise business people and have taught me how to analyze risk vs. reward and to look for creative solutions to solve problems. Without understanding how clients see a transaction, it is hard to be an effective transactional attorney.

How do you think firms/companies can develop environments fertile for success?

In private practice, I believe firms would find greater success if the metrics for compensation and promotion were changed from evaluation on an individual basis. No matter how successful a team or how rich the experience of a subject matter for a particular firm, compensation and evaluation systems that reward named billing partners will never foster the type of collaboration needed to create cohesive team environments and best service clients.

With respect to the advancement of women, the institutional stereotypes need to be removed. Attorneys at all levels need to be educated on implied bias, as this tends to be the primary force that holds women back. I truly believe that if every attorney was made aware of the unconscious bias that affects women and can recognize unconscious bias in their own actions, they would strive to counteract it.

What strategies do you employ to win business?

Nothing beats good work and open communication. While continually striving to obtain and maintain the right credentials to win business in my area of practice, I truly believe that most opportunities are driven by hard work and a proven track record. Being vocal in asking for work or marketing your capabilities is important, but having a relationship of trust and confidence takes time to achieve.