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Women at Law: The Annual Legal Intelligencer’s “Women in the Profession” Roundtable

The Value of Mentors and Promoting Your Strengths:

During the annual Legal Intelligencer’s Womens Roundtable in March, we discussed how women face the challenges unique to their practice, including business development and rainmaking, client relations, career advancement, mentoring, raising children while practicing and more.

I was honored to be in the company of a select group of attorneys from Philadelphia law firms.  Moderated by Roberta Lienbenberg of Fine Kaplan and Black, the panel was comprised of eleven attorneys (one of them a man) and mostly defense. I was one of two plaintiff’s attorneys.

During the discussion, I mentioned how having a mentor can assist women in growing their practice. Does a woman’s mentor need to be a woman? In the same firm? Why are women sometimes reluctant to promote themselves, when it’s a given for men?Women in the Legal Profession Roundtable 2012: Business Development

I’ve found myself asking why, at this stage of my career, do I see so few women advancing, especially in the plaintiffs’ field?  Over 50% of my graduating class were women – very intelligent and gifted women – where are these women now, why did they leave the profession, and what can we do to keep them in it – all good questions for us to ponder.

The roundtable discussion focused more on solutions.  Let’s try to continue this discussion.

Panelists for the roundtable included:

  • Marie DeForest of Conrad O’Brien
  • Paul Lancaster Adams of Ogletree Deakins
  • Inez Markovich of Deeb Blum Murphy Frishberg & Markovich
  • Allison Wheeler of Pond Lehocky Stern Giordano
  • Nancy Winkleman of Schnader Harrsion Segal & Lewis
  • Danielle Banks of Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young
  • Heather Austin of Thorp Reed & Armstrong
  • Dianne Elderkin of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld
  • Roberta Torian, Reed Smith

See the full transcript in the Legal Intelligencer supplement

View a video excerpt with some of my comments at the Roundtable

About the annual Women’s Roundtable:

“The editorial staff of The Legal has always been aware that the hiring and retention of female attorneys is an ongoing issue in the legal community. In an effort to discuss some of the specific problems facing female attorneys and present potential solutions to those problems, we invited 11 practitioners to talk about how to bolster the role of women in the law. Previous roundtable discussions have dealt with the issues, but this year we asked our panelists to place a heavy emphasis on what can be done to turn the tide.”

About The Legal Intelligencer: The American Lawyer Media publication is the oldest law journal in the United States, publishing in Philadelphia for over 165 years.

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