There is no Substitute for Seeing other Women Do the Job Well

My practice focuses on trials and IP litigation, areas in which women traditionally have been underrepresented. Not just early in my career, but also more recently, I have looked around the courtroom or key meetings to find that I am the only women in sight. This can be a daunting situation that continues to confront many women in the legal profession.

Notwithstanding this gender imbalance in my field, I am very fortunate to have worked with several clients who have outstanding female lawyers in very prominent roles, including Laura Schumacher, vice chairwoman, external affairs and chief legal officer of AbbVie; Sandra Leung, executive vice president and general counsel of BMS; Linda Friedman, general counsel, senior vice president and secretary of Astellas; and Noreen Krall, vice president and chief litigation counsel at Apple.

The opportunity to work with these highly successfully women leaders has had an immeasurable impact on my career. First, they have served as role models. As a woman lawyer, there is no substitute for seeing other women effectively manage highly complex and high-stakes matters for their companies. Second, these women understand and promote the value of diversity on trial and case teams and appreciate that enhancing diversity leads to better work product and results.

I am grateful to have had these excellent women role models to help guide my career. Seeing them in action has made me a better lawyer and given me the confidence to set my goals and expectations even higher. But in my experience, male lawyers also play a critical role in the advancement of women in the industry. For example, my partners Bill Lee and Howard Shapiro, both highly esteemed trial lawyers, have taken an active interest in my career and helped me pursue opportunities that have been critical to my development as a trial lawyer.

I have had the good fortune to benefit from powerful female role models and terrific male mentors who have helped guide my career. I am committed to paying it forward by dedicating my time and efforts to the development of the upcoming generation of trial lawyers.