Now a partner at Best Best & Krieger, Isabel Safie joined the firm in 2005 straight out of law school and soon became an authority on public agency employee benefits, with an emphasis on pension and retiree health benefits. Safie’s rise in this practice area was impressive, not only because there were no attorneys at BB&K specializing in this area, and therefore no one to learn from, but also because she was able to forge connections with key professionals at administrative and regulatory entities who could facilitate the resolution of critical issues.
As part of her practice, Safie helps public agencies understand and navigate the world of pension law. Regarded as an authority, she is able to align the interests of the public agencies, their employees and the public they serve. Her practice also includes advising nonprofits regarding tax law and other issues unique to these organizations.
Safie has served on the board of directors of Quest Scholars Program, Inc. for more than 15 years. An alumna of Quest, she brings a unique perspective that helps the nonprofit organization work to ensure that the nation’s most talented underserved students have access to the top universities in the United States.
Regarding diversity and inclusion, Safie explains, “If we surround ourselves with people who think and look like us, not only will we be out of touch with our increasingly diverse society, but we will also overlook valuable perspectives. In a global economy, a business that shuns diversity – in whatever form – will not succeed. A diverse workplace suggests openness, tolerance and acceptance – all qualities that attract diverse clientele.”
“Despite the often solitary genesis of my success, I value the collaborative process and believe strongly that it is my obligation to clear the path for other women interested in my field,” Safie says. “I do this by sharing my knowledge, guiding associates and putting an emphasis on team effort.” She also offers this advice, “We all face our own personal obstacles but nothing worth having is easy, so persevere and look ahead because your voice and perspective matter.”