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Suburban Retreat



MLS #: 1234567

Type: House

Built in: 2002

Dimensions: 3,200 sq. ft.


Price: $960,000


Description: Quiet suburban home in residential cul-de-sac, upgraded kitchen, new appliances, beautiful landscaping with 2 acres of property.



  • 4 bedrooms
  • 3 full baths, 2 half baths
  • Finished basement
  • 3 car garage
  • Pool
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Kroll Experts

Jennifer Rothstein


North America
+1 212.833.3456


Kroll Associates, Inc.
600 Third Avenue, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10016

Jennifer Rothstein is a Director with Kroll’s Cyber Security and Investigations practice, based in the New York office. Jennifer develops and broadens the strategic partnerships established with insurance companies, brokers, and law firms that specialize in cyber liability insurance. She leads cross-functional activity to facilitate new business opportunities and targeted innovative product development as it relates to cyber liability and cyber resiliency, both in the private and public sector. She joined Kroll after a distinguished career in professional liability program management, ediscovery product development, and intellectual property ownership rights management.

Previously, Jennifer directed the development and growth of professional lines programs for business segments including lawyers, broker dealers, accountants, real estate agents, and architects and engineers. She also was co-creator of the insurance market’s first ediscovery services endorsement for over 10 lines of business for a major international carrier. She co-developed an exclusive patent liability defense program with a national broker for the tech sector’s top industry leaders.

Jennifer has spoken in numerous forums on the topics of underwriting cyber risks and creating a culture of cyber resiliency and has been an instructor at the CLM Litigation Management Institute at Columbia University. She is an active board member with the New York Metro InfraGard chapter, where she raises awareness of the importance of cyber insurance as another remedy to protect against cyber attacks.

Jennifer began her career in the insurance industry at AIG. In that role, she facilitated the underwriting of electronic and intangible risks into corporate insurance policies. Her role also included the enforcement of the Litigation Management Guidelines and the review and approval of panel counsel invoices.

Professional Experience

Previously, Jennifer’s work with an e-business consulting company included negotiation of Master Services Agreements, equipment leases, and software licensing contracts with a variety of vendors from different market sectors. She managed subcontractor relationships and developed forms including Code of Business Conduct, Non-Disclosure Agreement Guidelines, and Trademark and Copyright Use Guidelines.

Intellectual Property

Jennifer implemented and managed an online inquiry mailbox, where she responded to inquiries on topics relevant to dispute resolution, use of trademarks and copyrights, and ownership of intellectual property. In her work at a national network television station, she was responsible for intellectual property clearances and worked with studio producers to ensure compliance with broadcast standards.

Education and Certifications

J.D., Cardozo School of Law
B.A., Columbia University
Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) Certification, New York State Education Department

Affiliations and Memberships

New York Metro InfraGard, Director, Board of Directors
Claims and Litigation Management Alliance, Fellow


“Are You Prepared to Respond to Your Next Cyber Incident?” University Risk Management Journal. Fall 2015.
“Ghosts of retail data breaches: Past, present and future,”, December 11, 2014.
“Frankly Ludicrous: Time to Hone Your IT and E-Discovery Knowledge,” Litigation Management. Winter 2014.
“Cyber Extortion: Consider How Your Cyber Insurance Policy Can Help You Respond,”, August 22, 2014.
“Where is it (Under) Written? Exploring the Risks and Costs of e-Discovery,” Litigation Management. Fall 2013.
“Managing Your Clients e-Discovery Obligations,” New Jersey Law Journal: Law Office Technology & e-Discovery. February 4, 2008.
“Introducing Electronic Discovery to Insurance Claims: How the electronic discovery process intersects underwriting, claims and litigation,” Sue Magazine: For Women in Litigation. April/May 2009.

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More from Jennifer Rothstein

Cyber Security North America Retail

Blog Post

Ghosts of retail data breaches: Past, present and future

December 11, 2014

“Today’s practitioners must earn more than a fair amount of technical proficiency to competently manage e-discovery and ESI.”

- Jennifer Rothstein

Cyber Security E-Discovery Financial Services Legal North America


Frankly Ludicrous: Time to Hone Your IT and E-Discovery Knowledge

December 01, 2014

Business Services Cyber Security Insurance North America

Blog Post

Cyber extortion: Consider how your cyber insurance policy can help you respond

August 22, 2014

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Award Winning Legal Team

[Liz Lash]

Kroll's Associate General Counsel Elizabeth Lash was recently featured as one of 15 women in Best Lawyers magazine, for her achievements in practice and in policy, being recognized on both local and national levels.

"Though the legal profession has made—and continues to make—strides toward better representation of minorities and women in law school, in the ranks of associates, in leadership, and on the bench, women are still only 35 percent of practicing attorneys in the United States, according to the ABA National Lawyer Population Survey 2015 edition, and only 21 percent of partnered attorneys according to National Association for Law Placement, Research & Statistics."

Read More



Copyright © 2017 Kroll All Rights Reserved.

Paulette Brown: Leading the Charge

Best Lawyers March 31, 2016
Though the legal profession has made—and continues to make—strides toward better representation of minorities and women in law school, in the ranks of associates, in leadership, and on the bench, women are still only 35 percent of practicing attorneys in the United States, according to the ABA National Lawyer Poplulation Survey 2015 edition, and only 21 percent of partnered attorneys according to National Association for Law Placement, Research & Statistics. As such, the experience of a woman in the legal profession offers a unique and valuable perspective, one that illuminates mentorship, motivation, and the gumption to stick with it—or ditch it all and take a risk—for women just entering law school, fresh into their professional career, and seasoned practitioners alike.

Each of the 15 women selected here stand out for their achievements, in practice and in policy, on both local and national levels. Featured on our cover is Paulette Brown, a member of the labor and employment practice and chief diversity officer at Locke Lord in New Jersey, as well as serving president of the American Bar Association. She is the first woman and the third African-American to serve as president of the ABA. Brown, who earned her J.D. at Seton Hall University Law School, has held many positions throughout her career, including in-house counsel to a number of Fortune 500 companies and a municipal court judge. In private practice, she has focused on all facets of labor and employment and commercial litigation. In 2009, Brown was a recipient of the Spirit of Excellence Award from the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession, and in 2011, she was honored with the Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award by the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, and she is just one of the exceptional women attorneys who have contributed their insight and experience here. 

Paulette Brown

Where do you practice law and what is your practice area, specifically? 

I am partner and co-chair of the firm-wide diversity and inclusion committee at Locke Lord LLP in Morristown, New Jersey. I have held many positions throughout my career, including in-house counsel to a number of Fortune 500 companies and municipal court judge. In private practice, I have focused on all facets of labor and employment and commercial litigation.

What brought you to the law and your practice area?

When I entered college, I wanted to be a social worker to help better people’s lives. But then my roommates and some professors at Howard University convinced me that there was a way to make a difference through the use of the law as a tool for social justice. That’s where I found my purpose and my passion. Social workers do great work, but I came to believe I could have a greater impact as a lawyer. The law has taught me to think analytically. I think it’s reasonable to say that I have been able to help more people over the span of my career than I probably would have been able to do as a social worker.

What has been your experience with mentorship in the legal field?

I have spent a significant portion of my career promoting full and equal participation in both the legal profession and justice system. For decades, as a corporate lawyer, as a partner in my law firm, and as a partner and chief diversity officer of Locke Lord, I have advocated for firms to hire, retain, and promote women and people of color.

Mentors are essential to our growth and development because, regardless of the profession we choose, there is one universal fact: Our professions are relationship driven. One of the accomplishments I am most proud of is my Women of Color Mentoring Group. It was designed to create a safe place for associates to discuss issues facing them in law firms. It helped me and, particularly, the young women of color (although no one was precluded from participating) in the group tackle problems, understand situations, and recognize that others had challenges similar to what we faced. It helped to remove the feelings of isolation and provided validation to a variety of perceptions. Almost a decade later, we are still going strong.

But my mentoring is not limited to women of color, nor is it “one size fits all.” There are many ways to mentor, including peer-to-peer mentoring and short-term mentoring.

As my mother taught me, “to whom much is given, of much is required” (Luke 12:48). There is an inherent obligation of everyone to share knowledge with someone else. I share with people both my good and bad experiences so they can learn and grow from them. I believe mentoring is a lifelong commitment and that mentoring goes in both directions.

Young lawyers should set really high expectations and learn their craft. They should be their absolute best self, and always remember their community.

The ability to thrive in an increasingly competitive world will depend on their ability to network and develop contacts and relationships across organizations and professions. I would urge them not to be fearful of establishing relationships with a completely diverse group of individuals, including those who are not naturally within their comfort zone. That goes for students of different races, gender, sexual orientation, or those with various forms of ability. They will be amazed at how much they can learn from them all.

What has changed for women about entering law school and beginning a legal career?

First and foremost, practice areas have expanded, along with new opportunities. That said, and while there has been progress on many fronts for women lawyers over the past four decades, there still remains unequal treatment and subtle discrimination—including implicit bias. This is the subtle and sometimes not-so-subtle prejudice outside of our conscious awareness that cause us to make judgments on others based on criteria that have nothing to do with their abilities. We all have implicit biases, including me.
There is still work to be done. Many female lawyers, and, in particular, women of color, experience difficulties in advancing their careers and in obtaining equal compensation. In the past two decades, men and women have entered the practice of law in roughly equal numbers. However, women equity partners at law firms are not much better off than they were in 2006. According to the latest study released by the National Association of Women Lawyers, women compose 21 percent of equity partners, up only 2 percent from the 2006 survey. This is not enough progress.

The ABA’s Commission on Women has been working to increase women’s participation and success in the legal profession. One of the commission’s recent endeavors is the Grit Project, which seeks to educate female lawyers, law students, and others about the science behind a grit and growth mindset and includes an online toolkit to help women lawyers understand its importance.
As a woman and a lawyer, I believe I have a role to play as a defender of women’s rights everywhere. I hope all women lawyers share this passion and work within their firms and organizations to advance this cause.

Have you have ever faced gender discrimination?

It’s still not that unusual for women and people of color to face biases and low expectations. When I was first starting out, you could count the number of lawyers like me who were in court on one hand. Often, I was asked if I was the court reporter—or even the defendant—everything except whether I was a lawyer.

I’ve discovered some power in being underestimated. In part because of that, I figured I would show them, and set out on a career that led to positions as in-house counsel for several Fortune 500 companies and as a partner in major law firms.

Now, as president of the American Bar Association, one of my initiatives is advancing diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. The law is the least diverse of all comparable professions. A recent study revealed 88 percent of all lawyers in this country are white. By leveraging the power of the more than 400,000 ABA members to promote full and equal diversity, we can work toward ending bias in the legal profession and the justice system.

If you could do it all over again, what might you change?

I prefer to look to the future. Early in my career, I wish that I had focused more on the possibilities of the law for effectuating change. I wish I understood then that you have to be a participant to make it happen. But there’s no time like the present to get going. I have been privileged to add my voice and that of the organizations I have represented to a number of important social justice issues and hope to continue to do that moving forward. 

Paulette Brown is the first woman of color to serve as ABA President. During her 2015-2016 term, she has launched a number of key initiatives, including the Commission on Diversity and Inclusion 360, forming partnerships with the Department of Justice, National Center for State Courts and other key groups, and Main Street ABA, which has brought Brown to every state in the United States during the course of her presidency. Brown will be succeeded in August 2016 by Linda Klein, managing shareholder in Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz’s Georgia offices. She has been listed in Best Lawyers for commercial litigation since the 19th edition.

Cyndie Chang

Where do you practice law? 

I’m the office managing partner of Duane Morris LLP in Los Angeles, California. I handle complex business litigation involving contracts, unfair competition, trademark, trade secrets, products liability, insurance coverage, entertainment, and real estate law. 

What brought you to the law and to your particular practice area? 

In junior high, I had great teachers who encouraged me to participate in a moot trial program and debate. So, I was introduced to the concept and idea of being a lawyer from an early age. I started in litigation and have stayed a litigator. It was the first job I got out of law school, and, frankly, the kind of work that I envisioned doing as a lawyer. Recently, one trend of cases I have been handling involves website accessibility issues under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Companies are trying to comply and ensure their goods and services are accessible to those with disabilities. 

What has been your experience with mentorship in the legal field?

For the most part, mentorship is something women are open to. There are, however, some women who could learn the value of mentoring our next generation of women lawyers. I have personally benefitted from a number of strong, courageous, and caring women lawyers who have impacted my professional development. 

What has changed for women about entering law school and beginning a legal career?

I think there are challenges still faced by women entering law school today. Biases against women may be subtle or unconscious, so it’s harder to discern, but that does not mean it does not exist. I do think that organizations, including those to which that I belong, are continuing to create programming and dialogue on this issue. Therefore, the hope is that the atmosphere will improve over time. 

Have you have ever faced gender discrimination?

Absolutely. For example, when I was a first year lawyer, I was told that I would never be a trial lawyer. That really upset me at the time, and it could have really derailed my legal career. I experienced many incidents of unfairness and missed opportunities as a result of unconscious bias. I ended up leaving that law firm, but it was very unsettling to be in a setting that did not value me. 

Where do you want to be in 10 years?

I would like us to be at a place where we do not have to discuss the “issue” of gender pay gap. Honestly, I am very happy where I am at right now and appreciate the present moment where I am with my family and career. I do plan on continuing to do positive work for the legal community as the incoming president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). I know there are great opportunities that lie ahead, but I do not know what those will be yet. 

Cyndie M. Chang is active in the community and is the President-Elect of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) and past President of the Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association. 

Angela Noble

Where do you practice law? 

I am currently the divisional operations manager for the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. I currently work in court administration, but I spent the majority of my career in the criminal justice system. I am and will always be a criminal lawyer.

What brought you to the law and to your particular practice area? 

My grandparents lived in a public housing development in New York City. Even as a child, I knew how drugs and crime impacted the community. It was a desire to protect my family, friends, and neighbors that brought me to the law—criminal law was the obvious choice. We are on the verge of great change in the criminal justice system. Great attention is being paid to community policing and to sentencing reform. The system is imperfect, but we are on the right path.

What has been your experience with mentorship in the legal field?

I know that most in my field are open to mentoring. I was mentored when I worked as an Assistant Attorney General in Florida. However, my mentor was not female. I never had a professional female role model, unfortunately. Because of my background, I never even knew an attorney—male or female—until I was in college and had professors who were attorneys. In fact, I was never truly inspired by any particular attorney until Sonia Sotomayor was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court. Her personal history is so similar to my own. She embodies the ideal that someone like me really can achieve great things.

What has changed for women about entering law school and beginning a legal career?

It is easier for women to go to law school now than it has been historically; more choices lead to greater opportunity. The number of women in the legal profession now equals that of men, and I think that female attorneys are more welcomed into the workforce than they may have been in the past. Most employers are also less tolerant of sexual harassment and gender discrimination. 

Have you have ever faced gender discrimination?

Absolutely. I spent a short time in private practice after law school. I was the only female attorney in the office and was never treated as an equal. My male counterparts earned more, and their bar review courses, bar exam dues, and expenses were paid by the firm. My expenses were not. When I inquired about reimbursement for myself, my boss told me that I did not need to earn more because I had a husband. I started looking for a new job right away. 

Luckily, I am not shy. Whenever any sexist remarks were made at my expense, I did not hesitate to respond. I left the job to work for a federal judge. To this day, those attorneys are much nicer to me. I have spent almost 18 years in government service, and as a government employee, I never felt discriminated against in any way whatsoever. Any gender discrimination I have encountered has come from attorneys practicing before the court. 

An attorney once told me that I was “lucky” to be an attorney. Women in his day were “just” teachers and secretaries. Luckily, these scenarios have been very rare, and I have not had an encounter of this kind for many years.

Where do you want to be in 10 years?

I have learned not to plan my life that far in advance. You never know what tomorrow will bring. All I can say is that I intend to make the most of every opportunity. Some of the best experiences, both in my career and in my life, happened because I took a risk. I hope that 10 years from now I will be enjoying the benefits of the good choices I made and the chances I took in life.

Angela Noble began her career as a paralegal, and worked her way through law school. She has worked in the criminal justice system for 18 years, and has served 13 of those years with the U.S. District Courts in New York and Florida. She is a former Assistant Attorney General and now serves as the Divisional Operations Manager, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida.

Regina Pisa

Where do you practice law? 

I practice as an M&A and securities attorney in the financial services industry. My practice is national in scope. I am a partner and chairman emeritus of Goodwin Procter LLP in Boston. I served as the firm’s chairman and before that as its managing partner for more than 16 years, from 1998 to 2014.

What brought you to the law, and specifically, what drew you to your particular practice area? What is the culture like in that area, and what are some of its current trends?

I originally thought I would have a career in academia, but my thesis advisor at Harvard convinced me to apply for and accept a fellowship to study at Oxford University for two years—as she put it: “You need to see the world first.” It was there that I realized that academia, at least for me, was too much about thought and not enough about application. Law, however, seemed to be a perfect balance of the two. In law school, I had an outstanding securities law professor who got me very excited about the world of public company M&A even before I started my career. When I started at Goodwin as a first-year, though, I foolishly told the head of our banking practice, the late Henry Shepard, that I didn’t want to do any banking work. My friends in law school had told me their banking courses were very boring. Henry called me back the same day and said he had a project involving some “securities work.” That project involved the first conversion of a mutual savings bank into a public company. It was a fascinating project—one that I would later describe as playing three dimensional chess because it involved corporate governance, securities law, and bank regulatory work. I was hooked. Not only had I found a mentor who would become one of the most important figures in my life, but I found an area of law and industry in which I built a career and am still thrilled to practice in today.

When I began practicing as a financial services lawyer in 1983, there was no Internet. There was no email or voicemail. There were no PCs or cell phones. My colleagues and I relied on Dictaphones, well-trained library and secretarial staff, and lots of letterhead. Today, however, the industry is in the midst of an unprecedented technology revolution. I’ve read studies that predict worldwide IT spending for financial services will exceed half a trillion dollars by decade’s end. This “disruptive” innovation in the industry presents challenges for my clients, but with change comes opportunity and this wave of innovation sweeping across the industry expands market reach and opens the door to exciting new possibilities.

What has been your experience with mentorship in the legal field?

Throughout my career, and as the first woman to serve as chairman and managing partner of an AmLaw 100 law firm, I have been committed to advancing leadership for women in the legal and business communities. I understood early in my career the benefits for organizations and industries that leverage women’s leadership, and I have used the power and visibility of my leadership positions to battle gender and cultural stereotypes and to facilitate mentorship, business development training, and work-life balance for women at Goodwin Procter and more broadly. Goodwin was one of the first law firms to closely examine firms’ cultural and organizational structures, their value systems, and the biases that determine how business is conducted. Leading Goodwin, I wanted to look beyond achieving simple representative numbers and develop tools that women can use to transcend barriers imposed by law firms, gender stereotypes, and family life, and we have worked diligently to create new processes and programs to encourage greater gender diversity at the firm. 

“There will be days when nothing seems to go right. It is important that you have a colleague whose judgment you respect who will act as a sounding board and help you put those moments in perspective.”

As a new lawyer, the first order of business is to figure out what you love to do and then focus all of your attentions on doing that well and with passion. You can be good at almost anything, but you will only be great at something that you love to do. 
The second order of business is to find a mentor. I am a big believer of mentors in life, especially for women. And one’s mentor need not be another woman. In fact, as I noted, one of my primary mentors at Goodwin was a senior male partner who was then head of our banking practice. He explained the rules of the game to me—having someone tell me the do’s and don’ts was invaluable—and acted as a sounding board. There will be days when nothing seems to go right. It is important that you have a colleague whose judgment you respect who will act as a sounding board and help you put those moments in perspective.

What’s different about the practice of law for early career women attorneys today versus when you were starting out in your practice?

When my partners chose me to lead Goodwin Procter I was 42 years old and, as noted, was the first woman in the United States to chair an AmLaw 100 law firm. My partners, in true pioneer spirit, were surprised that the media made such headlines about that. For them, I was simply the right person for the job. Unlike many other women attorneys who started when I did, I was lucky to be in a place that encouraged women aspiring to leadership. Today, there is more focus on diversity and inclusion, and that is truly a benefit for young women attorneys. Yet, making your way to the head of the table has its own special challenges, especially for women. It always starts with an opportunity, and looking back, I feel very lucky to have been given that opportunity. 

If you could do it all over again, what might you change?

Not a thing!

Regina M. Pisa was the first woman to lead an AmLaw 100 law firm in the United States and, at 42, was one of the youngest executives to take the helm at the time of her appointment. She currently serves on the Advisory Board of Best Lawyers and has been listed in Banking and Finance Law and Corporate Law since 1999. 

Amanda Fisher 

Where do you practice law?
I am in-house counsel with the United Steelworkers International Union; my practice area is labor law. The USW is headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but we represent workers across the United States and Canada. I may be assigned cases in any region of the country, but I am primarily assigned to what the USW refers to as District 2, which is Michigan and Wisconsin. 

What brought you to the law and to your particular practice area? 

I went to law school with the intention of working in public interest law. Specifically, at the time, I wanted to work in the area of women’s rights and reproductive rights. During law school, I took a number of classes in international human rights. Through my interest in that area, I came across a senior attorney at the USW who did a lot of international work for the union. I thought that his work was very interesting and I asked him to meet me for an informational interview, of sorts, to learn more about what he does. After meeting him, he asked if I would like to clerk at the USW during my 3L year. This was my introduction to labor law and, happily, I was hired as an attorney after graduation.

Union side labor lawyers tend to be progressive individuals who are dedicated to the work because they believe that it’s the right thing to do. Working directly for a union is a great experience because there is a sense of solidarity amongst not only the union’s staff, but also our many members.  

What has changed for women about entering law school and beginning a legal career?

I recently heard a story about a female attorney who happens to now be a judge. When she was pregnant with her first child and went into labor, she went to the hospital where it was confirmed that she was in labor, but it was only the early stages. She had some time before the baby would actually be born. So, she went back to the office and finished writing a brief. I’m sure there was an extreme amount of pressure for women in earlier generations to prove that something like having a baby would not interfere with time spent in the office. 

I think that these trends are changing, at least in that there are many more young women attending law school than even a generation ago. The more women there are in the legal field, the less jarring it will be to see us out there as attorneys. And, the more understanding employers will be about issues like maternity leave—or maybe even paternity leave, if we really want to rock the boat! That being said, I recently presented an oral argument in the Seventh Circuit and could not help but notice that I was the only woman sitting in the courtroom. I know women in the legal field today still face challenges, but I’m glad that at least there are more of us to stand up for ourselves.

Where do you want to be in 10 years?

Living in a world where gender discrimination and the gender wage gap are historical issues that have long been resolved!

Amanda Fisher graduated from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 2010. In her spare time, she serves on the Advisory Committee of the Jefferson Awards Foundation, Pittsburgh Region, and she enjoys making quilts and hanging out with her poodle, Wallace.

Leah Ward Sears

Where do you practice law? 
I am currently a partner at Schiff Hardin LLP. I manage our Atlanta office and am the leader of the firm’s appellate group. We also handle a significant number of cases on appeal, and I am often hired as an appellate specialist to advise on matters in the appellate courts of this country, both state and federal.

What brought you to the law and your particular practice area? 

I was born during the civil rights era. As a child, I quickly became aware of the fact that minorities and women had fewer rights in this country, and I wanted to change that. I watched cases like Brown v. Board of Education and Gideon v. Wainwright, and knew that I wanted to effect change by doing things that regular politicians were not courageous enough to do. 

Firms are now engaging appellate counsel during litigation to help litigators prepare for trial in the event of an appeal. Appellate practice and litigation are very different, and many trial lawyers don’t try their cases with appeals in mind—but they should. That’s where I assist.  

What has been your experience with mentorship in the legal field?

I think it is imperative to mentor young female attorneys, as there are challenges in law practice that are unique to women, particularly when women are trying to excel in their careers and have families. Balancing firm and family expectations can be quite difficult. I make it a point to mentor women lawyers both in and outside of the firm. I’ve had a long career, so there have been plenty of learning moments along the way. I like to share those moments with younger women so they can avoid some of the mistakes I’ve made and benefit from the good lessons that I’ve learned.

If young lawyers want to advance in their firms, they must be prepared to work hard to master their skills as lawyers. That means getting to work early, staying late when necessary, not being afraid to ask questions, taking advantage of learning opportunities, showing initiative, and accepting constructive criticism.

What has changed for women about entering law school and beginning a legal career?

Sexism is not as pervasive as it was when I first started practicing law. When I was starting out, there were very few women lawyers so law firms did not know how to accommodate female attorneys.

Have you ever faced gender discrimination? 

Yes, I have faced gender discrimination more times than I can count. I have learned that different situations require different reactions. In some instances, it’s best not to react, when I knowingly walk into a discriminatory situation my reaction may be preemptive; in other situations, I have delayed reactions. Sometimes, I use the situation as a learning moment, taking an instructive approach, and at other times, my reaction is just plain rage.

If you could do it all over again, what might you change?

If I had to do it all over again, I would have more confidence early in my career. As a young lawyer, I was too pleasing and did not always trust my abilities. I should have recognized my value sooner. Also, my career often took precedence over everything else. If I had to do it again, I would prioritize differently and do a better job of creating a work-life balance.

Leah Ward Sears is the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia. Sears was the first African-American female Chief Justice of a Supreme Court in the United States, and when she was first appointed justice in 1992 by Governor Zell Miller, she became the first woman and youngest person to sit on Georgia’s Supreme Court. She has been listed in Best Lawyers for appellate practice since the 22nd edition.

Jamie Gorelick

Where do you practice law? 

I am a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of WilmerHale and admitted both in Washington and New York. I chair our regulatory and government affairs department, which includes our regulatory expertise, such as our financial institutions practice and our defense practice and many others, as well as our strategic response practice, which handles crises that cut across disciplines, such as cyber breaches. 

What brought you to the law and your particular practice area? 

I have been practicing law for over 40 years, and in that time have moved in and out of private practice and senior government positions. I am a litigator by training and have never lost that bent, but my service at the senior level and my service on government boards and commissions, particularly in the national security community, led me to want to practice at WilmerHale, which, perhaps more than any other firm, understands the intersection of law and policy and informs its law practice with the perspectives of many, many former senior government lawyers.

What has been your experience with mentorship in the legal field? 

I have always helped younger women lawyers (and now, almost all of them are younger than I am!). I do this because it is the right thing to do but also because it is fun. I feel that there is a “Gorelick diaspora” of world-beating women lawyers who are shooting the lights out in private practice, in government, in the corporate world, and in the non-profit community. If I have been able to help them in any way, I feel very good about it. 

What has changed for women about entering law school and beginning a legal career?

When I started out, lawyers did not change firms or move in and out of private practice and other jobs as much. You tended to go to a firm and stay. The greater flexibility of law firms and the proliferation of opportunities for women are exciting, as it allows young women to try on for size very different settings in which they can use their skills—and then to import into their next job what they have learned. This makes for better lawyers and careers that are more varied and more fun. 

Have you ever faced gender discrimination? 

You bet. It is hard when you are ignored or worse because of your gender, so you have to develop a thick skin and a very healthy sense of humor. I developed a resilience that has stood me in good stead. And I learned that much of professional life is personal, so I made sure that each person with whom I worked got to know me—as I got to know them—on a personal level. It’s much harder for someone to characterize me by gender if they know me and know what I can do. 

If you could do it all over again, what might you change? 

Not a thing. I’ve had a blast.

Jamie Gorelick was one of the longest serving Deputy Attorneys General of the United States, and in her role as Assistant to the Secretary and Counselor to the Deputy Secretary of Energy, was presented with the Secretary’s Outstanding Service Medal. She is currently a member of the Defense Policy Board and the Defense Legal Policy Board at the U.S. Department of Defense. Previously, Ms. Gorelick was a member of the bipartisan National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (the “9/11 Commission”), was a member of the CIA’s National Security Advisory Panel, on President Bush’s Review of Intelligence Committee, and co-chaired President Clinton’s Advisory Committee to the Presidential Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection. She has been listed in Best Lawyers for bet-the-company litigation, commercial litigation, criminal defense: white-collar, government relations practice, litigation — antitrust, litigation — regulatory enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy).

Elizabeth Levy

Where do you practice law?

I am IP counsel in the Office of General Counsel at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, one of the world’s premier higher education and research institutions, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I am a mechanical engineer and registered patent attorney, so it is a perfect fit. My principal client at MIT is its technology licensing office, which handles all of MIT’s technology, software, and copyright licensing. I advise students, faculty and administration on all aspects of IP law, especially copyright, patent licensing, IP enforcement and protection, software protection and licensing, and trademark usage and licensing.

What brought you to the law and to your particular practice area? 

I started studying mechanical engineering in school, and after working as an engineer for seven or eight years, and working with a patent attorney to get two of my own patents, he suggested I consider going to law school, which my company would pay for if I were hired by the law department. I had already started to experience salary plateau in engineering, and this was an opportunity that I took without much consideration. I have never regretted it. That same attorney took me under his wing and got me hired into the law department, and I was very fortunate to have such a wise and patient mentor in my early law years. I came to love patent law—claim drafting is extraordinarily creative. The pendulum swings back and forth between strong patents and respect for patent holders, versus weaker patents and distrust of patent holders. Monetization of IP assets and understanding business models based on IP assets is always important. New technologies challenge the boundaries of existing laws and require not just knowledge of the law but creativity in application of legal principles to reach a fair result.

What has changed for women about entering law school and beginning a legal career? 

Women and men have more egalitarian expectations for family and marriage today, which I see as a positive sign. They tend to share family and household duties more fairly, which makes it easier for women to consider entering a legal career and having a family. 

“As same-gender marriages become more common, this trend will continue, resulting in improved family support generally for women/caregivers entering careers in the law. We will become less focused on women entering the law and more focused on people entering the law.”

A durable model is one spouse working, the other at home with the kids—this model works today, even if the traditional roles are reversed and the woman is the primary breadwinner/careerist. I see more women taking on the role of careerist and more men giving of themselves to their families in support of their spouses. As same-gender marriages become more common, this trend will continue, resulting in improved family support generally for women/caregivers entering careers in the law. We will become less focused on women entering the law and more focused on people entering the law.

Have you have ever faced gender discrimination?

Many times, more as an engineer in the 1980s, but also as a lawyer in the 90s and beyond. I was not always prepared for what occurred, often did not see it coming. In the 1980s, companies tended not to take discrimination and harassment complaints seriously, and there seemed to be no accountability even at top levels. Decades later, this is still true at many companies. Unconscious bias is a real problem in the workforce and much education is needed to overcome it. I have reported incidents to management and sometimes got no satisfaction and either had to tough it out or leave for another job. It still happens. 

Where do you want to be in 10 years? 

Frankly, I’d like to be retired. Not because I don’t love my work, because I do, but because I want to let others have their chance and don’t want speculation about when I’m going to step down. I’d like to leave the arena before the show is over for me. I would like to volunteer for organizations that matter to me, using my legal skills if possible, and/or teach principles of law to underserved communities.

Elizabeth Levy serves on MIT’s Committee on Intellectual Property and is also a pro bono hearing officer for the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers. She is a board member of the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL) and a member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA).

Nancy Abell

Where do you practice law? 

I practice employment law with Paul Hastings LLP in its Los Angeles, California, office. I represent employers in all aspects of employment law advice and in litigation of individual, collective, and class action cases. 

What brought you to the law and to your particular practice area? 

As the affirmative action manager for the City of Los Angeles during Mayor Tom Bradley’s first term in office, I was at the forefront of designing and leading the implementation of affirmative action initiatives under a visionary leader. My fascination with emerging employment discrimination laws and the change they would drive in our society contributed to my decision to leave a job I loved so that I could pursue my legal education. The field has expanded significantly—today there is an increasing focus on pay equity. 

What has been your experience with mentorship in the legal field?

For more than 35 years, I have mentored women and am proud of their success today as partners in our law firm and leaders in government and business. In 2015, I co-founded UCLA Law Women LEAD (Leadership, Empowerment, Advancement, and Distinction) with The Gap’s General Counsel, Michelle Banks, and the inaugural support of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. LEAD, an intergenerational network of women lawyers who connect to support and advance the careers of women in our profession, had 1,200 participants on its first anniversary last month. 

What has changed for women about entering law school and beginning a legal career?

All of my role models were men. Today early career women attorneys have many female role models, some with children, to help them grow, overcome insecurity, learn to juggle competing responsibilities, and navigate bumps in the road.

Have you ever faced gender discrimination?

I never experienced gender discrimination at Paul Hastings, but I react to discrimination elsewhere by communicating my observations in a respectful manner, requesting change, explaining why it is important, and earning the recipient’s respect in the process.

If you could do it all over again, what might you change?

I would have made a greater effort to stay connected with college and law school classmates. Fortunately, I learned that it is never too late to do that. 

My advice to younger attorneys is six-fold: 

1. Prepare and perfect. Never settle for anything less than the finest legal work you are capable of producing. 

2. Abhor procrastination. Running too close to deadlines creates needless stress, may compromise quality and client satisfaction, and may make you unavailable for career-enhancing opportunities.

3. Contribute as much to the success of your colleagues and your clients as you contribute to your own. A key to becoming a great lawyer is practicing in collaboration with the best.

4. Succeed as your authentic self. Be true to yourself and your core values as you incorporate in your repertoire some of the techniques you learn from others. 

5. Associate with those who inspire you and put a smile on your face. Pay that forward to others. 

6. Make meaningful time for family and friends a priority so that you never feel that you sacrificed your loved ones for your career or missed the joy they can bring to one’s life.

Nancy Abell is a resident in Paul Hastings LLP’s Los Angeles office, and has successfully defeated numerous high-profile discrimination and wage-hour class actions, represented numerous leading national law firms in partner and glass ceiling cases, and defended members of the judiciary. She has been listed in Best Lawyers in employment law — management and litigation — labor and employment since 1987.

Dawn Estes

Where do you practice law? 

I’m the co-founder of Estes Okon Thorne & Carr PLLC, a 100 percent woman-owned firm in Dallas, Texas. I like to say I’m a commercial litigation generalist; I like anything complicated and challenging. I have recently handled cases involving a broad range of topics, from financial services to technology to commercial real estate leases, and a portion of my practice also involves work as a neutral—as mediator and arbitrator.

What brought you to the law and to your particular practice area?

Growing up in Big Spring, Texas, I participated in a high school mock trial competition, and I loved it. The reason I wanted to be a trial lawyer was twofold: 1) I loved the performance and adrenaline aspect of being in the courtroom and 2) I didn’t know other legal specialties existed (seriously). 

"If you haven’t failed enough, it means you haven’t tried."

Women lawyers are still few and far between—women trial lawyers are more so. Our firm was formed to give women a voice and to give in-house lawyers the choice to hire an excellent team primarily composed of women to litigate cases. When working on complex cases, lawyers must have the grit to charge into the courtroom, the skill to negotiate a good deal behind the scenes, and the wisdom to know when to do which one. I think women trial lawyers have an amazing ability to do all three of these.

What is your experience with mentorship in the legal profession? 

My favorite mentoring story is from a long time ago. In fact, I didn’t even remember that it happened until I was recently reminded of it. A young associate and I worked on the same team at a large firm here in Dallas. The young associate handled her first hearing, and I went with her to make sure things went as planned. She did a fantastic job, so I sent an email to the firm singling out her work and giving her a pat on the back. She’s now the general counsel of a large power generation company. I had forgotten about that email until she spoke on a panel recently and told that story.

These are two lessons here: First, small kindnesses can mean a lot and people remember them. That’s true whether you’re a baby lawyer or a jaded veteran. When you take the time to praise someone’s good work—and that took next to no time, frankly—it is appreciated. Second, be kind to everyone. Today’s baby associate may be tomorrow’s general counsel. And even if they aren’t, it’s just bad karma to treat people badly. 

Something young attorneys can focus on is building relationships. Build really great relationships. Not the I-really-don’t-feel-like-going-to-lunch-with-her/him-again-but-I-guess-I-will kind of relationships, but the I-can’t-wait-to-see-him/her-and-get-the-scoop-about-what’s-going-on kind. Building good relationships is fun; share your life, your struggles and your victories with others. That’s the good stuff that leads to happiness and success down the road.   

What has changed for women about entering law school and beginning a legal career?

When I started practicing many years ago, it was taboo for women to wear pants. That is completely shocking to me now, but it’s true. More substantively, there are many more female mentors and role models, female judges, and women in-house lawyers today than when I started practicing law. These are all potential game-changers for women in the law.  

Have you have ever faced gender discrimination?

I would be shocked if any woman who’s been practicing law for 27 years didn’t answer yes to this question. So, yes. I usually, though not always, deal with it with humor. When I was younger, I probably let it pass a little more. But the more senior I become the more I don’t let things go. And I think that’s correct. That’s the only way to fix it. Some people don’t appreciate the words they’re saying, and I think you have to call them out. But you can call them out with humor, a wink and a nod, and an “I’m watching you.” 

The closest thing I’ve done to taking “official” action was when a partner I was working for gave me a negative, but very vague, review. I went to him for clarification and he made some what I felt were inappropriate and sexist comments. I spoke to someone more senior and was moved from working under that partner. For some reason, I saved that review for years. But I recently tossed it in the trash; I literally and figuratively let it go. Several years after my negative review, I was asked to appear in an injunction hearing for one of that same partner’s most significant clients. And we won big. The partner and I talked afterward, and I reminded him that he didn’t think I was going to amount to much of a lawyer. And he said “You’re right. I was wrong.” That was a good day.
If you could do it all over again, what might you change?

I’m not sure I’d change anything, frankly. The biggest “failure” in my life was running for judge and not being elected. That ended up being the best thing that ever happened to me because it caused me to rethink my practice and, ultimately, led to our partners opening our woman-owned firm. If you haven’t failed enough, it means you haven’t tried. How you deal with failure determines whether you’re successful.

Dawn Estes has two awesome kids and a lawyer husband, and she sings in the band, Black Dirt Tango. You can download Black Dirt Tango’s music on iTunes and Spotify. She has been listed in Best Lawyers for commercial litigation since the 22nd edition.

Kate Rayne

Where do you practice law?

I practice in a two-attorney firm, Lanman Rayne, in Portland, Maine. My practice areas are business and estate planning. The other attorney in my firm (who happens to be my husband) practices business and tax law.

What brought you to the law and to your particular practice area?

I thought I would enjoy being surrounded by similarly analytical people, but I didn’t particularly care for my first year of law school, which was the usual: Civ Pro, Torts, Con Law, etc., and after my first year I considered dropping out. But my mother convinced me that I already had a third of the student debt, so I should stick it out. I was glad I did. I took my first tax class in my second year and immediately knew it was my calling. I took every tax and business class available and eventually went to work at a CPA firm. After two years, I realized I had drifted from law, and was faced with the decision to become a CPA or turn back to law, and I chose to turn back.

What has been your experience with mentorship in the legal field?

In my practice area and geographic location, there seem to be a lot of senior attorneys that are open to mentoring. I have several that I’ve been relying on since I graduated from law school. They probably have no idea what an impact they’ve had on my professional life, but I wouldn’t be where I am now without their help. They are the people that I call when I have a matter that is particularly complex or that I’ve never handled before, and they are so patient with me. Just recently I learned that one of my mentors and I will be working across from each other on a matter. That was a big moment for me!

Interestingly, none of the mentors that I have particularly inspirational relationships with are women. I’m not sure why, it just worked out that way.

What has changed for women about entering law school and beginning a legal career?

I don’t work in a large firm, so I don’t have an inside perspective on gender issues in the firm environment. Other women tell me they feel like the cards are stacked against them. I don’t know if that is changing or will change, but I hope that it does. If it doesn’t, I think we’ll start seeing a lot more solo and small firm female attorneys going out and building their own practices. It’s amazing what you can do when you have freedom over your time and the ability to choose your clients.
Have you have ever faced gender discrimination?

I have a unique situation because I work with my husband. Every once in a while I get a client that doesn’t seem confident in my ability to advise them, so I suggest that they work with my husband. Usually they have no problem taking my husband’s advice, even if it’s the exact same advice that I gave them. It’s surprising; these clients aren’t necessarily older—or male. Sometimes I experience this kind of discrimination from people in my own generation.

Where do you want to be in 10 years?

Ten years is pretty far away, and a lot can happen in that time. I like the path I’m on right now, the self-employment path. In 10 years, I hope I’m facing new challenges and opportunities, in life and in my legal practice.

Kate Rayne founded Lanman Rayne in 2011 and uses her tax knowledge, as well as her experience growing her own business, to advise business clients on matters ranging from business formation and corporate counsel to estate and succession planning.

Sarah Davis

Where do you practice law? 

I am in-house counsel for Clayco, a full-service, turnkey real estate, architecture, engineering, design-build, and construction firm with offices in St. Louis and Chicago. I work in the St. Louis office. With an official title of associate counsel, project strategy and implementation, I spend most of my time working on Clayco’s real estate development projects; my practice areas include traditional real estate law, such as purchase and sale of property and zoning matters, as well as financing and incentives.

What brought you to the law and to your particular practice area? 

From a young age I wanted to be a lawyer. Other than watching courtroom dramas, however, I did not really understand what it meant to be a lawyer. In college I was exposed to different areas of the law through various classes and internships and I was consistently intrigued by the way you had to think as a lawyer, even when I was not interested in the substance of an area of law. I also began to realize that I did not want to be a litigator, so that led me to focus on transactional law areas of practice. By 2L recruiting season I was not sure I wanted to work in private practice but if I had the opportunity to do so, I wanted to summer at a firm that had a significant real estate development group. So that is what I did. I enjoyed the work and the people and I became even more interested in urban redevelopment, in particular the various ways in which projects are financed. When I joined the firm after graduation, I mainly represented local real estate developers on local projects. Many of the firm’s clients were involved in the redevelopment of downtown St. Louis. Their ability to finance projects was often dependent on utilizing federal, state, and local incentive programs such as tax credits, neighborhood districts, tax abatement, and tax increment financing. It was through my experience working on these projects that I began to focus on the area of incentivized development.  

What has been your experience with mentorship in the field of law?

I think senior attorneys in general are open to mentoring. They have learned a lot through their experiences and they are almost always willing to share those experiences with you—you just have to ask. I have had several informal mentors and one formal mentor. I have stronger relationships with my informal mentors because those relationships grew organically. My current boss, a woman, is one of those informal mentors and the only female mentor I have. Her perspective is different from my other mentors and I really appreciate that about our relationship.

Where do you want to be in 10 years?

I wish I knew! But then I don’t think the journey would be as fun. So many people I talk to in their mid-late 40s end up in places they could never have imagined. I am afraid that if I lay out too specific a plan, I might dismiss great opportunities that arise. When I came in-house almost a year and a half ago, I was at a point in my career where making partner was the next promotion. Had making partner been my goal, I probably would not have taken this new opportunity. Instead, my goals while at my previous firm were to learn as much as I could from those around me, be the best attorney I could be, and work on exciting and challenging projects with people that I liked. Having these broader goals (goals of process), rather than a specific goal (goal of result), best prepared me for where I am today.

Sarah Davis has been practicing law in St. Louis since graduating from Boston College Law School in 2006 and has her undergraduate degree from Mount Holyoke College. Sarah is co-chair of programs for the Urban Land Institute’s local chapter and has participated in other community leadership programs, including Leadership Clayton (2009) and Leadership St. Louis (2014-2015). 

Christina Martini

Where do you practice law?

I am an intellectual property lawyer at DLA Piper in Chicago, specializing in trademark and copyright law, as well as domain name, Internet, social media, advertising, unfair competition, and entertainment law. My practice includes counseling, prosecution, enforcement, due diligence and licensing matters, and assisting clients in protecting their intellectual property rights through litigation and other means, including the courts and uniform dispute resolution procedures.

What brought you to the law and to your particular practice area? 

I got my bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering and started my master’s degree in that discipline as well, and having a technical degree dovetails nicely with intellectual property. My practice straddles counseling, transactional, and enforcement/litigation matters and is global in scope. As an intellectual property lawyer, I find that nearly every industry you can imagine needs us. Every business has a brand or a series of brands associated with it, and usually has either one or more inventions or some type of original work that is critical to its business and which is likely entitled to some form of intellectual property protection. While it is an intense practice and requires a great deal of commitment and hard work to succeed, my practice is very enjoyable and diverse, and no two days are like.

What has been your experience with mentorship in the legal field?

I believe that mentoring is something that many senior attorneys who care about the future of the profession are open to and take seriously. This is particularly true for women, given that the profession loses a lot of them along the way, particularly in private practice. Whether we are new lawyers or seasoned professionals, we can all benefit from getting the insight and advice of fellow attorneys with experiences they are willing to share and who have our best interests at heart. I was very fortunate to meet two amazing lawyers as a first-year law student—Marla Persky and Anna Richo. They took me under their wing and gave me a summer internship in the legal department of Baxter Healthcare, my first law-related job. They really helped shape the direction of my career and who I would become as a professional and as an adult. Now, nearly 25 years later, I am still in touch with them both. I strongly believe that it is our duty and responsibility to be that person for others and to pay it forward to the next generation. The profession is evolving in ways that are making it increasingly difficult to successfully break into it and to succeed in the long run. It is incumbent upon us all to help each other and to provide encouragement, in good times as well as bad. 

“Mentors are essential to our growth and development because, regardless of the profession we choose, there is one universal fact: Our professions are relationship driven.”

What has changed for women about entering law school and beginning a legal career? 

There are a number of dynamics which have been converging over the past few years and which are impacting all who are entering law school and looking to have a legal career, regardless of gender. For example, the Great Recession has left a permanent mark on the legal profession: The demand for legal services will never be what it once was, and there are a number of practice areas which have disappeared entirely as a result. For those which remain, it is survival of the fittest. While technology provides some tools to help ensure that lawyers are more efficient than before, there is a shift in the overall mindset of the profession and in the business world in general that makes it much more challenging and competitive to be in the workforce now. Add to the mix the differences in the millennial mindset and the fact that there are often three and or four generations working together, each of these considerations make it more challenging for women entering the profession. 

Have you have ever faced gender discrimination?

I have experienced both conscious and unwitting gender discrimination, both as a student and professional, in engineering as well as the law. When I was younger, I did not really know how to deal with it, and sometimes did not have enough life experience to recognize discrimination in the moment. Now, even if just a second, I always try to take a step back and consider the other person’s point of view and think about whether they are actually being discriminatory and whether they realize how what they said or did is being perceived. This evaluation drives how I address it, which can be anywhere from calling someone on it in the moment to having a private conversation. 

Where do you want to be in 10 years?

I want to be doing what I love to do and following my passion in life. I have spent 22 years at DLA Piper and have very much enjoyed the partnership I have had with the firm, the wonderful professional and personal relationships I have developed with my colleagues, the terrific experiences I have had as both a lawyer and a leader, and the amazing relationships I have been privileged to cultivate with clients over the years. I am also an author and journalist, particularly in the business of law space, and plan to continue to develop and create multimedia content as a means of sharing my thought leadership with others.

Christina Martini is chair of DLA Piper’s Chicago intellectual property practice group and sits on the firm’s executive and policy committees. She also leads the firm’s life sciences trademark practice. She is integrally involved with the firm’s hiring, diversity and inclusion, and women’s initiatives. She has been listed in Best Lawyers for patent law since 2013.

Lauren Damen 

Where do you practice law? 

I practice law at Graves Dougherty Hearon & Moody (GDHM) in Austin, Texas, in the area of administrative and regulatory litigation with an emphasis on utility law. This primarily involves representing electric utilities before the Public Utility Commission of Texas (“Commission”) and State Office of Administrative Hearings in various matters such as applications for approval of rate changes, transmission line routing, and other contested matters, as well as rulemakings.  My practice also includes representing clients in other administrative matters and in traditional litigation such as oil and gas royalty disputes.      

What brought you to the law and to your particular practice area? 

My first job out of college was in Houston, Texas working for a consulting company where I was introduced to the (then) newly deregulated retail electric market in Texas. When I decided to come home to Austin, I got a job at the Commission working on various issues, primarily related to the Texas Retail Electric Market. My work ranged from developing public policy to addressing how businesses communicated with each other, to trying to make business practices and regulatory policies work together. While I found other aspects of the law interesting, I quickly realized that my experience at the Commission and my undergraduate business degree made me continually interested in the electric industry.

What has been your experience with mentoring in the legal profession?

In my experience, “mentor” and “mentee” relationships have developed from working relationships, and have been an immeasurable help in navigating the profession. I was fortunate to enter into an area in my firm with a higher ratio of women attorneys than other sections in our firm, and all those women have been helpful in my practice. The two shareholders in my firm that I report to the most have become my main mentors. They have provided a great deal of guidance through the various aspects of practice and life, including drafting documents, building relationships in the firm, building client relationships, and managing life as a mom and an attorney.

What has changed for women about entering law school and beginning a legal career?

Women coming into the profession and many of their employers have heightened expectations that bring a great promise for the future as well as a lot of pressure on the women who want both a successful career and family due the intensive time and work that are necessary for both. While increases in technology make it easier to work from home at different hours of the day, this can both alleviate and exacerbate certain work-life balance issues. Trying to achieve the higher level goals adds additional pressure for women who want to attain them. Accordingly, while the industry is more welcoming than it has been in the past, challenges remain. 

Where do you want to be in 10 years?

Professionally, I hope to be a shareholder at GDHM with broader experience. Personally, I hope to be more skilled at successfully managing my work and family life balance. 

Lauren Damen graduated cum laude from Baylor Law School and received her undergraduate degree in business from Southwestern University. She is also a part of a Mother Attorneys Mentoring Association and a Gulf Coast Power Association emPOWERing Women Mentoring Circle.

Elizabeth Lash

Where do you practice law? 

I am assistant general counsel at Kroll. Kroll is a global organization, but I am based in the New York office. Primarily, I review contracts and advise our internal business teams on various matters, from compliance with contracts to HIPAA to data privacy.

What brought you to the law and to your particular practice area? 

I’ve always been drawn to reading, writing, researching, and arguing, and thought that becoming a lawyer would be a good fit. I’m also detail-oriented, so contract drafting and negotiation happened to square nicely with my skill set. 

While contracts per se may not have changed much recently, data security and data privacy concerns are causing companies to focus in greater detail on data retention and disclosure by third parties. This, in turn, is impacting contract negotiation and management—both for those engaging third party service providers, and service providers themselves. 

What has been your experience with mentorship in the legal field?

I’ve always found senior attorneys very open to mentoring. Throughout my career, I’ve been lucky enough to find many female (and male!) attorneys who have offered advice and assistance. I’ve also had good luck with the formal mentoring programs offered through the regional and women’s bar associations. 

What has changed for women about entering law school and beginning a legal career?

As with many professions, it is, of course, easier now for female attorneys to enter the legal field. More importantly, women are also beginning to enter the boardroom, make law firm partners, etc., in greater numbers. In addition, depending in large part on the organization, there is greater understanding and accommodation of women who are also balancing raising a family. As time goes on, I believe that it will only become easier for incoming female attorneys to succeed within their organizations.

Where do you want to be in 10 years?

In ten years, I hope that that I will be continuing to grow and learn from my experiences. And by then I also hope to be mentoring other attorneys!

As Assistant General Counsel, Elizabeth R. Lash, Esq. supports cybersecurity and data breach services businesses. Among past positions, Ms. Lash served as in-house counsel for FXDirectDealer, LLC, a retail foreign exchange brokerage firm, and as a civil securities fraud prosecutor for the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office.

The editors wish to thank all the exceptional attorneys who took time out of their busy schedules to participate in this year’s Attorneys Across America feature. 

To propose an attorney or to be considered for next year’s edition, please email with the subject line “WITL 2017.” Attorneys in all career stages—judges, general counsel, law school students, elected officials, and lawyers in both public and private practice—are encouraged to apply, as are former lawyers working in nontraditional settings.

Please note that featured attorney suggestions for the 2017 Women in the Law edition will not contribute to or 
otherwise influence the annual peer-review process that determines the next edition of The Best Lawyers in America, or the 2017 “Lawyer of the Year” awards.

These answers are provided by the attorneys in a personal capacity. The opinions are the authors’ own, and do not reflect the view of their employers, organizations, or affiliates.

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