According to colleagues, Renee Inomata, Partner and Chair of Employment Practice Group at Burns & Levinson LLP, is “one of the most respected names in employment law, sought out for her wise counsel, strategic advice, and composed demeanor, no matter how tense or sensitive the situation.” With more than 20 years of experience, Inomata is often thought of by her clients as their “outside in-house” employment counsel, tackling even the most pressing and difficult workplace issues and helping them shape a dynamic, thriving workforce.

A graduate of Brown University, Inomata earned her JD at Boston University School of Law. During her tenure at Burns & Levinson, Inomata and a colleague launched The In-House Advisor, a monthly blog providing in-house counsel and C-level executives with practical advice on a broad range of legal issues. Recently, she was elected to the firm’s Executive Committee, becoming the first minority and the first female minority to serve in that role. Inomata is also co-chair of Burns & Levinson’s Diversity and Inclusion initiative and serves as the firm’s in-house employment attorney.

Inomata looks for opportunities to share her wisdom and experience with the firm’s female associates. She brings them to meetings and other events, where they can observe and learn from others, and looks for opportunities to help them connect with other legal professionals.

Inomata feels diversity and inclusion enables organizations to provide better client service, more options for resolving problems, and opportunities to develop stronger relationships with colleagues and clients. “To me, diversity means valuing different perspectives, even if you don’t always understand them—even if you don’t always agree.” she explains

Inomata shares her personal philosophy with professional women on their way up: “Know what your core is, and be true to that core. Never give up your integrity.” She also offers this piece of advice, “You should never run out of intellectual curiosity. Take every opportunity you have to learn, whether it is about someone, about something or about yourself.”