White Collar Crime Town Hall – Women & Leadership:  Evolution & Revolution

White Collar Crime Town Hall – Women & Leadership: Evolution & Revolution

I’m gonna just briefly introduce them
I’m hoping that in some of our discussion either in their responses to
some of the things we’re going to see on the slides and in response maybe some
questions or discussion points that you all may want to raise during our town
hall discussion which we hope you will that they will come back some of that
information in details to give you a s’more information and points of
reference about what they’re discussing so first you’ve already met Martesha
Johnson that’s right here. She spoke earlier this morning but she
is the first elected african-american woman or the election of Nashville as a
national public defender next to Marty says to Jill hi she’s the vice president
associate general counsel at LifePoint health here in Nashville healthcare
provider and hospitals all over the country next next up to jail is judge
for Lita trogir she’s the only woman federal district court judge here in
Nashville she’s been on the bench more than 20 years she’s a former federal
prosecutor a former defense she’s the defense counsel and in private practice
and last but not least Christy Greg Kohler Kristin is on the executive
committee and a partner at Sidley and Washington DC and travels around the
country not just doing a complex white-collar defense but also in helping
organize women and whiteboy defense organization all over the country and
really in other area in other countries as well so we’re really pleased to have
this panel today and I’m hoping that they can tell you more about themselves
as we’re addressing some of the slides that we’re going to talk about so really
we’re just going to talk about some of the things
then come out in actual headlines that are in the newspapers or media of real
situations or topics raised by by women to this first one which came out that
there are times in 2017 by judge Scheindlin there’s a federal district
court judge in New York was so let’s raise the issue of hey what’s going on
I’m looking out into the courtroom at counsel table and I see men and women at
times but I only see men really handling matters what’s interesting here is she
points out in this article that things can be done she says what can be done
judges clients law firms all have a chance to improve the situation and she
said let’s start with the judges but before we get to you judge stronger
first let’s just start with party support government because we’re the one
of the points she makes in the article is that just isn’t in on such display in
government and we’ve talked a lot today about leadership women leadership in
government and Marty simply what do you think I know I’ve provided in this
earlier we’ve seen this article what do you think about that comment I think it
is unfortunate but it’s absolutely true I have found one of the I think I
expected it but it’s still shocking things being new to leadership I was
very excited to be now invited to these tables where they’re making all of the
criminal justice decisions in Nashville and I found myself always hearing either
things I was saying repeated or someone who has to speak after me that is male
in order for there to be some decision made about
so I’ve experienced that now all the time there is I will make a point and
either the table looks around the feed there are my male counterparts who will
say anything or someone will just chime in to repeat what I’ve said in a
different way or I have to be validated in my remarks in some way and so I think
that article certainly spoke to me because I experienced it until you
really experienced that so much in the courtroom I think that was just the
nature of how we have our cases assigned I was the lead counsel on most of my
cases by myself and so I would be the one arguing and they didn’t have anyone
else to look to elevate without the things so I I just stood around to make
those arguments but it’s certainly that way in leadership just Charlie what did
you think about her suggestion in this article that judges have a role to play
in this kind of an issue I think we do I have to say I don’t really have that
problem the judge Scheindlin has I think in part
the law firms send women lawyers to my court because they know I want to see
men I treat them any differently or I give them any favors but I’ve always I
helped start them when this Bar Association in Nashville and in
Tennessee they know that I support those organizations I’m in the National so
and so I think they just presume that I’m kind of a feminist and so they said
women lawyers occasionally I’ve have a situation where a man may be presenting
something and it’s clear to me that the woman sitting at the table wrote the
brief and they’re meaning to be consulting with that person and sometime
I might I might make a joke about I see you have to come up with your lawyer point but but I mean I often look out
and I’ve got on both sides with lawsuits civil criminal we just have a lot of
women lawyers practicing in federal court I guess that probably I certainly
did experience what you’re talking about in the early days I was the first woman
that got to sit in the room of the Tennessee Bar Association Board other
than Julie Jones who was kind of the secretary her former partner and also I
was the first woman lawyer that sat on the Tennessee Court of the judiciary
which heard ethical complaints against state judges and I experienced exactly
what you’re talking about that I would say something and then and there would
be no reaction or no positive reinforcement or whatever and then a man
would say almost exactly that I would said and then that proposition was
accepted so I know exactly what you’re talking about I’m not in any groups like
that now and I guess and the real thing
all right well Kristen’s gel you you all are both in the private sector to gel in
a large a large company that operates across the country has a lot of moving
parts this article suggests that clients have a role to play on this issue and
what is your perspective on that absolutely in case you’re me
absolutely I’m for me but I look at Google ears that are representing me I
do want them to generally be representative and I recognize that that
is not always easy to do especially with the work we’re doing around large firms
right there’s a to me of a wide gap of female partners gap of non-white men
partners so recognize that that’s the case my expectation though that my firms
are working towards helping that to be different that there’s committed to
inclusion and diversity as I asked before that I’ve had discussions with
great partners here they’re helping to work on those things that we do work on
them collaboratively together I see my role and that is also petitions of
mentor helping younger folks come up I was a law firm practicing for years
before going in the house but I ever seen how the system works so
it’s a give-and-take wanna think the the client has a responsibility set the
expectation for what you want to see and then me a
partner is helping it come to me it’s not something that happens overnight but
I do think it’s something that you have to deliver it to the label work towards
I can think of one example I was working with whatever it was a vendor that we
actually that does a tremendous amount of work for us and I said wow I just
went out to your websites I’m gonna work with you guys all the time I’m talking
to these people it’s a daily basis and I went out to your website you have not
one female partner at your firm that’s shocking to me and they were kind of you
know taken aback oh we have these women here Mexico State and they’re wonderful
but not one of them is a partner that seems strange to me what do you think
about it and we had a really good discussion and they took immediate
action for them it was something that they knew was important to me I don’t
think it was something that they just didn’t pay attention to it right it
wasn’t something that they were deliberately not trying to invest well
women but it wasn’t something that was tough with mine they were out there
building their business right and we had discussions and we had periodic
discussions and now they have their first ever female partner and I remember
running into her at conference and she’s like you know just wanted to say thank
you because I know that you didn’t say I needed to be the partner but I know that
you spoke up I knew that was something that was important to you don’t tell you
that most guys listen to you and they decide well some of the purse strings
maybe but it was really really helpful to see that it can have that impact so I
would encourage folks that have an opportunity again it’s not a I’m gonna
hold this hammer out here and Hammer you with it but it’s a partnership and
really a collective effort and thinking about how you make those changes happen
sometimes weirdest is enough to start making some
small steps so I do think we absolutely have a responsibility in that and offer
perspective firms definitely have a role to play here and the great thing is is
that clients are demanding it and that’s very different than where we’ve been
historically so historically the clients decided who they wanted to argue their
case or when they wanted to try their case and in the large bet the company
cases historically that was the white gray-haired man that was going to do
that and we have really seen a change clients are demanding diversity and it’s
fantastic and it’s incumbent upon us to ensure that that happens so that offers
we have to make sure that we are putting the junior diverse partners or
associates who’s the best person to argue the motion who’s the best person
to handle this witness we need to make sure that we are doing that that we’re
getting diverse lawyers out pitches and all of those things I want to just
finish Aaron with you of something that happened to
me last week that I just think is really helpful to this discussion so I was I
was on vacation last week in Nepal and Bhutan and this was for my husband’s
50th birthday and one of the things he really wanted to do for his 50th
birthday was to take a helicopter ride up and around Mount Everest and so I was
you know a little a little cautious about helicopters
medicine understandably so and particularly in developing countries you
know he really wants to do this so so I’m going to do this and so we show up
at the airport and I am introduced to our captain Priya
who is the first and only female helicopter pilot in Nepal and I
immediately have a sigh of relief because I know that she had to work ten
times harder to become that in Nepal which is not as progressive as here and
so I was immediately relieved by this and so you know we and clients we need
to do the same thing you know the women and the diverse lawyers they have had to
work ten times as hard to get to where everyone in this room is and so we need
to celebrate that and we need to make we’re giving them opportunities and
elevating them as well anecdotal story in thinking about the firms and the
pitches and so when I was moving to the in-house position and not currently
where I am I knew that that client was that that company was a client of ours
so just did a search to see what we had one perspective documents on what types
of things we’re working on with them and I found the pitch that was submitting
that the two years prior to the client and there I am front and center as
someone going to do work with on this and I had never touched work for that
client so you have to be it has to be real
right it can’t just be you know putting someone in that you’re not actually
anticipating will do the work that will not have face time that will not get the
opportunity to grow with those things but actually making it a collaborative
that truly is is going to play out the realities yeah I think that’s key and
important we have too much lip service towards that we actually do it yeah I
totally agree there gonna be no baby switch and you have to give these
lawyers opportunity and so on the other side what can young younger women
counsel look what can young girl women attorneys do or maybe they’re even not
just beginning but on the cusp of some type of the leadership opportunity what
would you propose or suggest based on your own experience or things you’ve
seen that would help them become successful in that endeavor anybody maybe I oughta start to touch as I say
part of it is finding your truck finding the people that are going to boost you
up we need a little boost by the people that will be good Maris for you so that
when you have places to work on they’re gonna tell you in a kind way so you work
on those things right none of us start perfect and perfect for the jobs that
we’re going to do today and certainly not perfect for the leadership girls
that we want in the future so I think finding a group of people for me I call
them my board of directors their college friends my husband is the chair of that
board because I listen my house I got to make sure that all the things that I’m
doing are going to make sense for our family life could be partners I used to
work with people within my organization people from outside but having a good
group of people that can give you what you need at the time when you’re trying
to make people pivotal decisions but also to be reflective right you have to
constantly be working and constantly improving to be a good leader and to
really get into leadership positions and so I think of myself you know I started
practicing I looked to the people that actually wanted to connect with me that
may not when the person looked like me or it may have been but I wanted to try
everyone to see really who would be the right person went right people for me
personally to meet me where I was to help me to get to the next spot and for
that relationship to be reciprocal so for the people that really put trust in
me and I’ve been the until time to mentor I want to do my absolute best
work I wanted to make sure that they shine at all times right so one
was just the most absent-minded but the most lovable he would sit me down on
days when you sleep oh this sucks and just really give me a boost right to
help me really just feel better and remind me reminding me that today may
not gonna awesome maybe you had like stellar days with a passport whatever it
was but he would forget everything so I always made sure that I had a copy of
everything that he might possibly need you’re traveling to visit a client
together because let me hold that one help aims a little good right and help
him to not be the bubbly person right because still just try to be that
reciprocal partner finding the people and again it could look like you they
could not look like you but being willing to explore really find good
personal connection would be the first place where I start as a young lawyer
trying to just try to figure out what yes
finding good mentors is very very important also I think having the
courage to kind of ask for the kind of work you wanted to do and I’ll just tell
you one story from my background that I was recruited into the US Attorney’s
Office here in Nashville for the women’s slot there was one woman slot and the
woman that I succeded had only done student work and so it was presumed that
I was going to do some work so I got in there and after a couple months it
became very clear to me that I we trying cases doing the civil work in
the US Attorney’s Office and I was very lucky I screwed my courage to stinking I
was tight when to the US Attorney I said I really want to be important I want to
try cases and I’m not going to be in there doing center work would you please
get me criminal work and so he did I was very lucky he gave me the Cookeville
docket so I had two FBI agents up there and I tried every case in Cookeville and
then of course it went from there but it was kind of it was like a little
atypical for me to to be that courageous but I wasn’t it paid off and I would
encourage people to ask for the work I think that’s where the key in on top of
the being courageous piece I had to decide that I was just going to be
exactly who I am once I decided that I had the courage to
do this work I started to not let people in positions and the office I was enter
in the courthouse or anyone define who I would deal with my ceiling was and so I
have often been the one to say you know I want the serious case I can recall
being pregnant in the national courthouse and judges would say all
types of wild things to me about calming down and slowing down and lowering my
voice and all of those things and I was just unapologetic was away I am going to
get my point across even at these tables that I meant now where I’m being
repeated and it’s frustrating how to make sure that you know I’m in room my
voice will be heard and I do think that requires courage but I think it also
requires you to make that look I am Who I am and you have me here
for a reason now I’m going to walk in there purpose and the one thing that I
will add and I think it’s consistent with things that the other panelists are
saying is hard work I mean hard work is absolutely critical
and that’s either owning your skills as a lawyer or even in leadership
leadership takes a lot of hard work you’ve got a read you kind of think
you’ve gotta work on your I to you then we’re gonna eat you you gotta you know
there’s just a lot and so there is no substitute for hard work no matter how
senior you are and the courtroom preparation is every
thing and so to me the key is basic heart I think you made the emergency
this morning that said you’re going to be uncomfortable than just do it anyway
but that was really good advice so here’s another article this was from the
Atlantic fall of last year and this is this was about the article is about
emotion it was finally this was in Florence and anything maybe Tampa sound
out of it where counsel filed a motion in limine to preclude the woman counsel
from being emotional in court on the other side so but the point of this is
of the article was that witnessing cultural biases about what women about
women counsel and I’m sure everyone here in this room has a story we’ve heard
some of them today but what can women do to actively overcome sort of an
anticipated bias maybe not even the knowing whether it really is truly there
or not what can women do to try overcome that and and at the same time use some
of their strengths as a woman to be a good advocate for their client yes this
is a this is a tough issue and I can I could
go on at length but I think it’s it’s you’re always trying to strike that
balance aggressive but not too aggressive
strident but not to strike you know there’s just always this balance that
you’re trying to strike personally what I have done I’ll just give you a couple
examples you know I’m pretty small and I tend to use my size and my demeanor to
my benefit because most prosecutors at the Department of Justice that I deal
with every day our men and you know they underestimate what I’m going to do
intellectually because you know what a woman and so I just use it to my
advantage and I use it to my clients advantage the other what those part and
parcel with that is DC where I practice is a very elite town and elitist a very
elitist to town and I didn’t go to an Ivy undergrad and I didn’t go to an Ivy
for law school and I went to state schools and when individuals and DC see
that on my resume they also underestimate what I’m going to do and
so I just used I just embraced that this is who I am you know you’re not
who you are and I just embraced it and I just use it to my advantage and I just
run circles around them and so that’s you know that’s that’s the way that I
have my first job I would say I would agree but you know everything that
person is said you have to also know you’re dealing with like the worst
situation I think is that you’re kind of stepping into the space and you’re kind
of charred by the the bias right like you should try to understand who you’re
going to be working against with understanding maybe what they’re going
to bring into the room and just be prepared for those things so you can
just just push them aside and then get to the work at the end of the day each
hand I can’t change someone’s bias on one day so but what I can do is be my
authentic self in that space I think things have gone outside the balance to
raise it in that space which is not always easy to do and also not always
the right thing to do depending on what you’re trying to accomplish so keeping
the goal in mind but getting prepared for those situations where perhaps you
may run up against something that just can’t be jarring right you know I hate
you here in this litigator is going in support and having to wear pantyhose I
can’t imagine the last time I put painting goes on and so that’s what I
would need to do go to court it just seems so bizarre to me but the end of
the day knowing that finding the people that can tell you that that’s going to
be in Horton’s that you’re going to have to
understand that that’s a real thing of us whether you like it or not
and today religious decision of how are you going to approach the situation and
again use it to your advantage right and so you know being as
knowledgeable as you can be about the situations that you’re stepping into
whether they’re fear unfair just taking that deal the emotions of that
beforehand if you can and step into the situations you can present the the right
thing to win right it’s all about when you and your lawyer and also making sure
that you are complete there with your feeling feeling good about what you’ve
done that day I never like to leave a space feeling as though I’ve been
deflated because of someone else’s weird interactions or their discomfort of
their ignorance I like to leave them with that they can take it back with
them and I’m still going to leave with what I intended to get accomplished that
day so that’s what I say about that issue martiza
I agree I think I would add that I have learned some real thin breathing over
the course of the practice because I think it’s not only being a woman the
title here is about what it takes me a trial lawyer if you’re not a man but
also a delay being a woman of color into my
experience has been incredibly challenging in times where I make no
apologies that I am a fierce advocate for my clients but all I receive a lot
of times in return is that I’m too aggressive or angry or like I said
before that I need to calm down or stay in my role as a woman pretty much in so
I have to really definitely take account of what my goal is and in my case my
goal is oftentimes to help the person who needs it the most in that situation
and so I have had to navigate trying to be the most prepared be the best of what
I could do and I do think that in addition to all that there are times
where you have to push back and I I have done that I think that those times have
have gone well I had to be really strategic about that push back but there
is just some time that I feel like you just can’t you just can’t let that go
now I don’t openly challenge a judge while they’re on the bench in court and
making a ruling but and I have progressed in my career I do say you
know judgment is there a time that I can set up an appointment to come and talk
to you and your in your chamber and I’ve done that I’ve had a conversation with
the judge about microaggressions and using the word aggressive and when
you’re talking to a woman of color and how I don’t see that as a compliment
sometimes it’s not a readily made compliment
and I have to do that I had to push back really hard as a woman who’s trying to
advocate for our client and being told to to calm down because I’m pregnant
like that I’m not disabled I’m here and I’m ready to fight and I think it’s
important to navigate the system and all the things that we said
you really have to educate people whether they are having responses have
you got to firm the judges with each other
apologies I have got to know I didn’t I didn’t know that and I have to refrain
from saying do you Google do you know can be had implicit bias training and
they cannot happen so I understand that but most of the times it is apologetic
they’re men that necessarily the change in behavior across the board but they at
least know well I’m just going to tell it’s kind of an entertaining story from
my past along those same lines I was doing the prosecution when I was in the
US Attorney’s Office it was a prosecution of former governor Blanton
so it was on his front page of the paper and a big deal for like six-week trial
anyway we had to import a judge from Memphis to try to kiss her variety of
reasons of an excellent trial judge she was on the sixth circuit at the time but
he’d been a trial judge and was an excellent trial judge I was the only
woman lawyer involved in that prosecution it was in 1980 and there
were two of us prosecuting the other was a white male and I but it very clearly
and fifty percent without the responsibility was a split 50-50 every
time the judge wanted lawyers to come to the bench or to go to his chambers he
said gentlemen every time we got about halfway through the trial I thought you
know I think it’s gotta be really clear to him that I am NOT here in bottle
inches briefcase and then I’m doing 50% of this trial and I’m really tired of
this and so when we have a chambers conference I hung back so I
hung back and I said judge you know every time you summon all the lawyers
you say gentlemen and I paused and I just I thought you would immediately say
oh my god I’m I’m an old Southern gentleman it didn’t even occur to me I’m
so sorry well there was nothing there was silence
and I said to myself well maybe he needs a suggestion and I said well you know
you could say counsel silence at which point I scurried out of his chamber the
next time he summoned us all to the manager to his chambers gentlemen and he
kept saying with gentleness for several more days and then finally I think it
was after he went back to Memphis and maybe he talked to his wife I’m not sure
but in any rate at some point he went to counsel in that page of the transcript
isn’t my memory book I’ll take that but but it took a lot of courage and and I
did not give the reaction we all work and still a male-dominated area
particularly leadership roles how do we address that with our male colleagues
like you know even with people that we have such high respect for that momentum
or knives or work side by side us that we that we just feel very close
to as a colleague kind of how can we address these kinds of issues that are
there perhaps just you know there’s a lack of awareness about it what is the
best way to try to to handle it I just take it head-on
so one of my dearest mentors he was like a father to me he’s 77 so he’s been
practicing over a long time he will always say when we’re talking about
anybody else a female lawyer her lady lawyer you know that it just they come
together of course and I say Tong she’s just a lawyer but I you know I just do
it head-on so when those issues come up whether it’s with him the war my mentors
who are in their sixties or my mentors or in their 30s I just I just address it
head-on because I just I just think it’s better
it’s just better at to your point you know right at the moment just do it
address it and hopefully it gets better now he still says it I still have to
correct him but you just you just keep at it and I so make it either but I am more
outspoken than aggressive and that’s usually the tact I’d like to take but
it’s not always the right one you know and so I recognize that that
sometimes you have to meet the person where they are and also have the
strategy for you try to accomplish sometimes people do need to be a couple
and okay making people uncomfortable but I don’t want to do that all the time I
don’t want to be the person that’s always right you care that extra where
no system fitness of women but definitely it is the people of color
having to carry that burden of always making people uncomfortable and that’s
not always a good place to be if you’re trying to advance an organization one
you have to know where your organization is and just acknowledge that it may be
in a place where it’s ready to start making changes and to start putting the
real things in place that need to happen to start addressing those sorts of
things so that one it’s not just one person taking on those discussions you
have others and the people that are taking on those discussions aren’t
always the people that are directly impacted by them right it’s not just the
women speaking up about four women it’s men racing and saying hey you know you
just spoke over here that’s here and let her finish what she has to say or it’s
not also always a personal call that says well we have 50 candidates that
came in none of them was a person of color it should be other people that are
recognizing those things so yes I’d like to take things head-on but I do
recognize that you have to be strategic my you know I love my organization I
really enjoy being there and I recognize you where it is and I’m recognizing the
place you’d have better impacts and who people
who the individuals are I really want to put the work in these aren’t like
passive things that happen to your point you have to really talk about them and
make folks are comfortable from time to time make different decisions question
decisions that are being made and I think there’s sort of much strategy for
each different place and has to be deployed when appropriate so I might be
more aggressive but maybe someone else isn’t we can work together to kind of
get those small things most with bigger things addressed thank you
sort of described how you might respond I agree with everything she said as
we’ll have you I’m sure as on the bench that’s not really a problem but for you
respect to what happens in court but in your experience have you tried to
directly respond to that sort of either implicit or overt well there was a lot
of it you know when when they started practicing law but with bigger numbers a
lot of it and I have to say my approach was basically to let it roll out my back
I did not make issues I figured the best way for women to advance in the law was
to be the best lawyer in the room and the key
most prepared lawyer in second and so I tended to just ignore things and and
just tried to be a really good lawyer and I was lucky to have a lot of male
mentors but that’s all there was except for sissy doctor II around when I
was when I was coming up and I wouldn’t probably have had those male mentors if
I had made an issue of everything we just couldn’t do it
you just couldn’t do it or you be able to advance so I mean it’s a different
day and it’s I think it’s it is easier for people to say things now and I mean
I got called on something by a lawyer just a couple weeks ago something that I
had said and he called me on it in a conference in my chambers and good
for you you know and but but I would say that that you know in the early days we
would grass about things to each other but but but not many I mean the most
outrageous thing that ever happened to me when I was a law clerk I took
something over to to a senior partners office I delivered it in
said are you someone’s those are you thought brands long-term I mean are you
Bob branch secretary and I said no I’m his law clerk he took me by the
shoulders physically marched me down Paul stood me in the doorway of another
partner’s office and says this is Bob brands Loffler I want me one nice what
do you do i what could I do I mean I was you know still in law
school and talked about objectification you know it was pretty incredible you
just laugh I just laughed yes did I do that it’s still right yes lots in the
moment it is you have to think it is you’ve got to be comfortable with what
you’re doing where you are sometimes an idea a little bit thing to experience it
leave think and then be able to respond later so I I often tell young girl aw
yrs that they don’t have to be the hero at that time in the moment you’ve got to
be so comfortable with your space your station with where you are you can think
you can come back later and or you can just decide to do something different
each of our responses is just that each of our own responses and we need to be
okay with that so I think that’s an accurate response
a lot of time you know so let’s just say as a law clerk yeah at the time and I
mean what are you going to do soon you’re not going to do that we called
your board and gangrene there’s let it all out cause it’s the wrong thing to
happen and it’s not right you should be able to bend and get that out well I was
able to tell about the branch that I was working for I came back and told him and
even well that’s incredible you know we thought the SAC Rangers well so Kristen
says what are you going to do so here’s what some folks are are talking about
doing you’ve probably all read this was from The American Lawyer but there was a
letter in various papers that was published throughout the media about an
open letter from general councils across the country major major runners talking
about the need for more diversity in their counsel and so the snippet here
says that and what I want to focus on you know so you can have policies and
organizations and committees but this is saying the reality is that you must
consciously and personally invest in diversity and inclusion and then it
lists the different ways in which that can happen so I think it’s suggesting
we’re staying here that it’s an individual that’s making this happen and
not a policy not a committee not an organization so so what what are ways
and which how do you how do you view that and what are ways in which
individuals wherever they are can begin this process and have an impact or Tisa
you so I agree with the statement totally I
think it is on the individuals to make sure that we are and so myself because
that is earlier that it’s on me to make sure that the last first
african-american public defender in Nashville so I have to create a space
what I am bringing other voices to the table with me creating opportunities
where they can be seen and heard and promoted within my leadership is
reflective of my value related to inclusion and diversity and being really
intentional about that once you decide that that’s something that is a core
value of your agency or your firm or your your government wherever you are
you have to really set a strategic plan about what that means and how you will
accomplish those goals it’s one thing to bring a young diverse lawyer into a
place and then never do anything else with just so you can say my hiring class
this year are only three or four african-american males in to the firm
okay but what do you do extra then get there and and that it Lupe’s that’s
important and I think it’s on us to have these conversations but it’s going
everyone to recognize the issue and make sure we are providing appropriate
support and mentorship once we bring candidates into our Bowl
yeah I totally agree with that it has to be done on an individual level and we
all have to make sure that we’re developing retaining or loading that was
individuals so I’ll just give you two concrete examples of what we’re doing
simply so I sit on the executive committee of the firm which is
essentially our board of directors and what we did in the in the DC office
recently is we ran we selected the top 10 or 15 business generators in the DC
office and then we just ran their matters the percentage of women that
were working on their matters and the percentage of diverse associates working
on their matters and this isn’t perfect you know it’s not perfect analysis but
we just ran that analysis and then I just sat down with each of them and just
had a conversation I mean this isn’t this isn’t going into their annual
review it’s not going to determine their compensation but it was just to have a
conversation to say okay in the last year you have worked with 10% women and
90% men or in the last two years there has not been
ethnically diverse associate on your matters and it’s just how that
conversation and to try and increase awareness because some I would say most
of it is not intentional it’s just raising the awareness getting
them to understand it getting them to understand their own implicit bias I’m
just naturally gravitating toward people who look like that and so that I think
has been effective and will continue to do that again it’s just a we have to
change it on an individual basis so if I can change you know five or ten or
fifteen of the rainmakers you know that will that will help going towards so
that’s one issue but they are they’re not but I would say the majority of that
and then the other thing I chair the Executive Committee Subcommittee on
partnership consideration and we are very conscious as we are putting
together our partnership class of making sure it reflects society and making sure
it reflects our clients and and so you really you have to do that you have to
be very intentional and again it’s on an individual basis so I’m sure you all saw
when Paul Weiss announced its partnership class and you and they
published photos which I’m not quite sure how that got by anybody
in terms of a possible fit but leaving that aside and not to denigrate that is
great form but you know when that happened
our leadership at the firm came to me and said you know Kristin let’s let’s
look at our pipeline what’s our pipeline look for one year out two years out
three years out and that’s what you have to be doing you have to be very
intentional about this and I’m very individualized basis any of the other
organizations that you work with whether it’s a firm or other partners it doesn’t
really matter but you pick them because you like them right and you have some
personal relationships so it’s not a we’re gonna beat you up because we’re
not seeing eye to eye on certain things or not the space where we feel you know
you’re reflected with me today but it’s how can I help you improve in essence
same essences you are doing work and you’re helping me to be better right
every day my outside firms do work for us that if not for that work I could not
before what I need to do for for my client and so again it and truly view
this as as a partnership setting some expectations having open conversations
about it and maybe initially those conversations are comfortable but the
more you have them then they become normal that this just becomes part of
what we’re doing in a regular basis checking in to see ok where are we how
can I be helpful what are we doing what progress we may be just like I’m talking
about my manners so I you know I know I don’t think it needs to be this I don’t
know holding you out to be disgraceful because you’re you look like this it can
be more of a ok here’s where we are today tomorrow we want to be here what
does that pack look like for us and how can I help you understand that my
expectations are here huge will make me feel good or better truly better about
working with you and and then moving the needle Stalinism a lot of clients demand
reporting statistics and I am sure that’s a good thing because loyal Fester
but if you have sir because what is inspected is respected and so
maybe you look bored on a quarterly basis what are your diversity statistics
it makes people pay attention and if that goes directly to the bottom line
and it’s an ROI and so I think that that helps too give up clicker so this is an important topic I think
for women not only just in how are they to find their own success but also in
breaching leadership rose self promotion what can you do and this was a recent
article this year The Washington Post that was talking about this particular
study that may not apply in moments it was talking about how there’s a
difference between the way men and women can network successfully and I could
just tell you that so I’ve been around a while I could just remember trying to do
it like you know right I lost all the way I saw other men trying to build
their practices and I was in Dallas at the time and there were things they were
doing that I could not would not do so you know it but but there are
differences and so what ways here this one is suggesting that this particular
study is saying that women have found ways to become successful leadership
roles by having a group of very supportive sort of an inner circle of
women and I’m curious to know if that is something that you all have experienced
and what advice you can provide the some of the women here about how to utilize
that and how to develop it well yeah my board for sure but I think
so it’s this I seen a little bit of a different space I think that’s a key
piece of having a board that can be very diverse right look so your friends you
know colleagues mentors and other people but in this contest I rent this or I
think about this is having women leaders or women supporters that are truly in
your organization I think that is very very important so you have some supports
right there built in into your system once you start leveraging each other’s
networks there pretends to be less of us around but you feel this I personally
can speak for myself feel comfortable having different discussions with the
women leaders in my organization when I do to band around you know well I want
to ask for a raise or one ask for a promotion or I want to think through
where my next thing can be or having a challenge with this individual person
help me figure out how I can resolve it what decision is it have to have a tough
discussion sometimes having a conversation with women just feels
better we relate to each other in a way that is much more soon what it’s more
comfortable for us but it can’t be just women I think having heat women that you
can actually trust and go to and say anything is very very absolutely
important and also being able to leverage each other’s networks I work in
legal they’re within our organization of work in other departments and I have to
work with having folks that are going to say wow I haven’t worked with this
person before give me some insight what do you think who should I talk to you
before I start working on this project without them those things are just key
in can all of so much of leadership is relationship building and breaking down
barriers to have conversations and connecting with people on a one-on-one
basis so that when you know the way I think about it is that you’re kind of
building a bank so maybe we’re not working on something today but we’re
gonna have some regular touch point so we’re gonna try to find the connection
point so that when we have to have a hard discussion or work on a hard topic
I’ve built up some equity in this Bank right you know me you know about me if
we have to have our discussion especially as the lawyer if I have to
say no you know it’s not personal you know it’s not about you it’s about
trying to do the right thing for the organization we’ve built up enough
rapport we have respect where a relationship or I can borrow someone
else’s capital maybe from time to time some of the other woman’s capital that
they have that individual to say or we’re trying to do the right thing so
they don’t become personal issues I see so many times the workplace especially
when you are lowering when we have to have these hard discussions with the
people that we support then it becomes a person so quickly and I feel like that’s
the lawyers well I’m always back when I’m thinking we’re talking about
something that I’m not thinking about when I go home so this is not personal
for me at all and what it’s an individual trying to get a job done
right I work with hospital operators they want to move fast get things done
but then it often feels personal so the networking and leveraging the
women’s relationships and having those key people can talk to I think it’s very
important not they can’t be a bunch of a sudden your group you have to be able to
branch out in and work with others that don’t look like you
it’s at my point that I made earlier about making connections across all the
cross sections in the organization but do you pre me personally love having a
group of key core women and I can just say hey here’s a sticky situation I’m in
I sent an email a publishing up whatever it is let’s talk this through help me
walk through so I can fix it or you know I want to make a bold move I want to ask
for something boldly for myself how we walk through it is sounding board for me
and for me personally having at the skull of another woman that’s either
done it of course constantly the same thing always just feels better
so how was it for you in the early days I mean you’re during competition with
militiamen you’re trying to rise the deferment they’re not always going to be
from him yeah I actually you know I had a very good experiences with women at
the firm Karen Pappas one of my mentors and he or
she worked found the women’s white-collar defense Association and so
I have have had good experiences the other thing about the white-collar
is it’s a referral business in a way that some of the other practices are not
so in the sense that you know I might be representing the company that’s often
the case I have the company but I have 12 executives that need lawyers and I
need to to bring in lawyers for those individuals that the company is going to
pay for and so you know the white border is such a referral network that we do
try to of each other do try to support each other and the whole premise of the
women’s what color defenses Association is we should we should be referring
business to women and we should be referring business to diverse the
lawyers so that’s what’s going to change things even to enable women to develop a
strong book of business and that’s what moves the needle and so you know I I am
a big supporter lots of male friends but when I have a piece of business that
business should go to a woman and so for anybody in the room that is referring
business to a man I would just challenge you to think about that think about that
because they have plenty of men referring them business but they’re
doing just fine but when you have business to give out you know give it to
give it to a woman give it to a diverse lawyer because that’s what moves the
needle and that’s what will change things just drugged her I thought you know
you’re right you were telling us just whatever we watched in sort of about a
networking group if you had an experience that you’re meaning after
this and this experience in Europe in your career having support reporter yes
I would say that I started practicing in Nashville in 76 and we could all get in
the room for a rookie the women that were practicing and so we have remained
very very fast friends several of the last weeks – I went to law school here
and yeah I don’t know what I’ve done without my core group friends many of
them became judges state judges and they’ve been very very important to me
I’m in a book group that we started in the 80s and most Mr part of that
that core group because I was sitting here trying to think now when have I
been in an environment where my urine where there were all these women I’ve
never been in that environment I’ve always been sort of a woman basically
except for a brief time I was I was with a one of the furnace I was with in
Nashville and entertainment firm had 16 lawyers and then they weren’t merged
with white chemicals which is a bigger than firm what but there were other
women there but that was that was not where I felt I had buddies competitors
you know about merging with our firm I don’t know I didn’t feel like I had
buddies in there at all so in so I’ve never really been how are you
judges you’re the only female how are your colleagues I thank you oh they’re
great I’m I’m real woman at this point you
know I mean uh all three I have only three colleagues now and one of them has
been a bench three years and I’ve been on the next wait get she’s gone and call
me all the time asking for advice it’s wonderful I feel like you know I’m
mentoring them but I mean it wasn’t always when I was a young pup I guess
together but anyway and and they drew did me different ways but they were
always very kind and I look to them for advice
and they gave it to me in and well I mean I can think of the views
but but for the most part and now we have we have for magistrate judges and
two of them are women well we’re gonna have three slots we
have one that’s on recall but two of three full time magistrate judges are
there any questions it’s a great panel and the great folks to pose a question
to any any questions from the this is the quietest you guys have been all day
and yes the backlash so fritz
I wondered if you could talk a bit about the pushback or backlash that sometimes
happens when women form their own communities and men say well we were all
the light we should all be working together or you’re excluding us has that
ever happened to you or colleagues do you have a response yeah when we formed
the women’s Bar Association in the late seventies our biggest debate are we
going to be the largest association of women or the Lawyers Association for
women that was our biggest debate and whether or not the man who could be
members and we very wisely decided that we were a large Association for women
and we embraced males as our members and one of our goals was to encourage our
members to join the mainline bar associations in addition to the large
Association we were very sensitive to it not being a separatist kind of or
station and it was a very smart thing yes I will say for sure I think some
things a lot of verbs are having these uh women’s networking events where you
can get your Nelson T to the spa and I’m a spa girls so I love those things I
know it’s not a live-in lover but I love them and you know definitely one of the
the been lawyers sort of tongue and she was like what do you mean I like the
massage why can’t I be there and I said I don’t know they don’t care yeah right
at the end of the day this was for us by us and that was okay like I was totally
comfortable saying that this is our space and we’re today it’s going to be
our time in this space and you should know and do something different but come
play doh egg black so I said I’m like you know I can remember the number of
times I’ve been of the firm even as a sub from the time of summer sitting all
these golfing events they’re going out maybe undefined if you overheard a
conversation that people are going to do things and I was always see if I
overheard I was going to be there I never played golf I don’t really like
golf but I recognized that just and discussion of them that were happening
on those trips were so key and important so you bite myself on those trips but so
many times you’ve done excluded whatever reason I don’t ever think of
delicious and usually people are not thinking about it but I don’t I don’t
feel any need to apologize we’re starting to create something that
creates that same sort of camaraderie and networking for women or for
non-white lawyers I think that’s totally fine I just say candor well sorry I feel
that way that’s good anyway you’re not a protected class I’m
just kidding but I mean I say okay you know when you want to be the recognized
minority okay what a trade places are Isis there was a big push I remember I
things in the early 80s for women to learn to play golf for this very reason
not just women lawyers but when many business and all kinds of professions
because that’s where a lot of the stuff a lot of business was taking place on
the golf course and we were being you have questions comments
can you bring men don’t not a great man some of the time when I have made a joke
or had somebody make a comment that I thought was over the line
it wasn’t way over the line it was kind of over the line don’t give an example
if that just happened this week I was exchanging emails with an older male
attorney who was on the other side and we were in settlement negotiations and
he asked me to have a call on Sunday and I said sure we need to resolve this
because we have a hearing coming up and we need to figure out we’re gonna do a
deal or not so we had this quality sends me a
calendar invitation and he invites the associate was working with me on the
case is this called with young ladies and then then the next email subject
line also had call with young ladies and then after we settled the case you know
he made some comment that I think that in his mind it was a knock us right it
was um it was something that was sort of harmless or Tony Jeter whatever and I
think that’s the challenge that a lot of women that internal struggle that we
feel is is this worth staying something about right like is it you know am I
making a mountain out of a molehill is this indicative of a larger issue or
should I just you know let it go bring it back maybe jump back call the old
bank my husband recommended who is also on my
board of directors oh my eyes yeah so I’d like to hear you know just
the thoughts from the room and from the panelists on you know when is it a joke
and then and then when is it appropriate to point out hey you know you made meant
it as a joke that this is how I cook it or this is how I receive there this is
why hearing and and how to point it out delicately or diplomatically that may be
you know a different time or a different place maybe now is the time that they
make that comment I say never with that if you don’t make a joke make a jump
back is that the only way to handle out if you if you show sensitivity to that
my view people may feel differently I mean
that’s kind of a jokey thing yeah to me I didn’t take offense to it it was just
an example of how I think sometimes you’re perceived I mean I’ve been
practicing for almost 15 years right like and I still get how long have you
been doing this and did you just graduate and did you just pass the bar
and sometimes most of the time I take Kristen’s approach and just let them
underestimate me if that’s what they’re gonna do and maybe that wasn’t a very
good example of kind of the commentary that I get some time to talk to you good
one because that line is going to be different for everyone and that’s okay
but I may have been completely offended and said oh my gosh like am i right or
someone else might just totally not hear it it doesn’t matter what the entire
room thinks about it it really doesn’t matter I think what you think about it
and how you feel about approaching it if it is something that you want to take
the position or not and I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer to that
necessarily alright I think we may all have different answers about that I like
the idea of making it a joke I probably would have them a little bit sarcastic
I might decline the meeting it’s inside a new invite you know I don’t know or
might done nothing like part of it will depend on what else had to get done did
I need to get me no debt to get my kids picked up somewhere and then didn’t have
time steal that moment we have real lives I don’t think we all
everyday are going out there like having to like constantly fight these battles
sometimes you do and sometimes you walk too and sometimes you don’t like I think
maybe we spend a lot time overthinking those things and maybe not as exhausting
yourself with them but I think what it matters to you and you take a stand
that’s what you do it that’s what matter so you do it away it feels good it makes
you feel better when it’s done Michael I had an executive coach in the
organization and that was one of the things she told me she was like you know
well how did it make you feel – I said it made me feel like this well what
would make you feel good and I said I had to think about that but truly what
would it make me feel good as a response and I said maybe this I told her like my
fears around doing that and how did discomfort around it and she’s like okay
what would make you felt feel the best and thinking about that is being the
right answer and sometimes what would’ve made me feel the basket of men to go and
run ten miles and come back and forget about it right and that was gonna be
what was fine for me at that moment and for other things was going to be
completely crawling it out in the boat at a time with made me feel best but I
don’t think it’s a hard question to answer put so nuanced it really depends
on I think times are changing on this issue
my you can see that they’re changing for me so you know my dad is is 84 and 30
years I had sort of a dad exception you know Mike if one of my male partners
senior partners said something that was you know probably close to the
line but it was sort of Baghdad I would let them get away with that I
just think that in light of the me to movement and everything that’s going on
in light of the Enlightenment that’s happening among our male colleagues I
think times times are changing and you know the dad exception Joe Biden
exceptions apply anymore and but I also think our male colleagues are getting
smarter about this and I mean hopefully that individual well so that won’t be a
law firm standpoint to make work with I just added of 326 attorneys I worked
with now two law firms families I’ve never worked with african-american
female attorney and either firm and when I add up the years of how long both
firms have been in business we’re talking three hundred and something
years and neither firm has never had an african-american partner so I guess my
question is how do we solve that issue of african-american woman being really
pushed behind the scenes and not looked upon it’s a great it’s a great question
I was just looking at some stats this morning so women of color now account
for 3.1 9% of partners at major US law firms
and that’s women of color so break it down that’s 1.3 8% Asian 0.77% Hispanic
and 0.68% african-american I mean those statistics
are startling and shocking and we all have to we all
have to work on this again at an individual level it’s it’s hard I see it
at the law firm it’s very hard to recruit so the schools at which we
recruit the candidate pool is is small and then all the firms are buying for
the individual so it’s hard kind of bringing people in the door but that’s
not the key part the key part is retaining them giving them opportunities
promoting them and exactly what you said you know you can’t just bring diverse
candidates in the door you have to make sure they succeed so this is this is the
big issue and in in DC the women’s Bar Association has has taken this on and
they have created what they’re doing is the task force to try to change the set
law firms and within corporations but it’s there is so much work to be done on
this issue every the intentionality of this discussion I
wholeheartedly believe that I was better situated for my current position because
my predecessor was a woman who took what I told her several years ago about my
desires to leave the public defender’s office to heart and when she began to
think about that she was not going to be the public defender anymore she recalled
that conversation and then she held to cultivate me and share her network with
me and helped me be in position to be ready when the time came for this
position to open up so it’s on all of us to make sure that when I am in a
discussion where I have the opportunity to promote someone that I can say you
know I would like to recommend this young woman of color or young man of
color for whatever the criteria is when I get the opportunity to have those
discussions it’s on me to make sure I’m doing that and I think it’s on all of us
you get to you know you’re fortunate to be on the partner consideration
committee and I think it is important for you to understand those statistics
and you get the opportunity to make the recommendations of people that can
change the stats everybody who has an opportunity for leadership you know in
recommending somebody for an appointment leveraging your council relationships or
your other relationships to get those names in the door for appointment and
elevation that is what we begin to change those things that
require people to have those conversations that are happening but
they typically don’t include the names that need to be on the list so trying to be around if I’m the oldest
person in the room no okay so I’m a lot confessor Meredith and my
field was education when I was teaching and I’ve done a lot of work on diversity
particularly on the diversity pipeline from preschool to the profession and so
I could tell you about it it’s a really long time that’s how I feel and it’s
true and I’ve sort of heard most of what each of you have said at least once
before if not many times before and I’m sitting here feeling really depressed
because I don’t hear very much different so I don’t remember anymore what year
the PAL horn clutch was remember this where all my corporations got together
and they flashed in these sign letters and now we’ve got this thing where 150
more people are going to sign budget and we don’t see the change in the numbers
you just read and the remark about never having worked with a black woman partner
these are all very depressing things so I’d like to ask you what you can do
that’s different how you can change your templates and
your mindset so I was also struck by your remark well we only recruit from a
few firms and a few Gospels only so how about the defining who’s good enough to
work instantly how about thinking maybe somebody’s good enough who went to some
of the high schools that are represented in
anyway so I would put the challenge out there all right I’m not gonna see this
change in my lifetime but maybe in my daughter’s lifetime but I only think
that’s going to happen if we all start doing something more different harder
longer and piece of me thinks that that revolves around their closet bias and
it’s systemic change on that but a piece of me also things we really have to
change our templates and I talked about why what you can do so we won’t be
having this conversation and other 30 years from now
yeah no it’s an excellent point and you know what we have been trying to do is
exactly that you know what can we do differently so we have now been
recruiting in Atlanta at the southeast minority job I think it’s child fairs
the proper title so we have been trying like what are the other outlets we can
go to we don’t just have to rely on the top eight law schools which is typically
the case that big law it’s going to be a really small sliver of the law school so
we are trying to to get out of that box we’re trying to look for judges you know
judges have great candidates and and green referrals they can make excellent
referrals so we are trying to to do things things differently but it’s hard
it’s a hard this is a hard problem but we’re committed to it I think that
changes are happening and representation really doesn’t matter so here in
Nashville you know 10 years ago and I started Oona’s open the defender I
didn’t see very many african-american women being elected to a countywide
position and then I started to see african-americans being elected to
County license and I decided certainly if these trailblazing women can do it
then I can too but not only that they didn’t horde it all for themselves when
I made the decision that I wanted to run for all run for office I went to those
women and rather than saying oh you can do it I’m gonna save all of my networks
and keep offices to myself they literally just rolled it all out for me
things welcome to me in they called people they
instead of meetings for me it really navigated how I could also be successful
and because of that I had been made sure to take my eight-year-old with me on the
campaign trail because I want her to see that this is something that you can
accomplish so I think there we have a long way to go 100 percent with you and
we have to look at our recruiting practices even in government it is very
government is a place that we need to look at that as well but what I have
found at least since September’s and I have been elected I have received
substantially more against from women of color certainly
who see that oh the leader of this office is elect women I’m going to send
my resume in and at least we can have the conversation so I think the
representation is important and I just open the book don’t worry about free
itself once you once you’re in that position thinking I don’t think the gold
standard of being a lawyer’s work in a big law firm I’ve done that it could
have been partnered that’s not what I wanted to do I wanted to do something
that was different and so I think we also just need to reimagine a rethink
what is having your best career from me if a person is not that that’s not what
I wanted and so I think a lot of folks are just going on a different path and
finding their success is there we’re seeing more female GC still not the
levels that we need to see or see more more females to being judges more and so
I think things are changing but I think also people are just making decisions
that the long-term path is not the only path to success um you know it’s hard
you want to have family right is that what you’re making difference I did go
to an Ivy League school right I could have done that’s but that’s not what I
wanted to do I’ve made different decisions and I look at
my classmates some of them are still firms some of them have gone to
different things that they all have very successful careers you ask that whether
or not they hadn’t made it to the pinnacle they would have looked you said
no what do just fine I’ll see you do by next week right there they’re all doing
the things that they want to do so I think we’re redefining also what is
success with respect to being in the legal profession there’s so many
different spaces to be in it and so I think that’s a piece of it you’re still
again competing for all those folks but definitely challenged you especially
being in DC to go to the HBCUs and other places that are producing such great
diverse candidates you have to go with people are there you know but that being
said I just think that their their love of the choices out there people are not
seeing a lot firmness that was being the end-all be-all to having a legal career
so you’re an HBCU you have to change the culture of the place where you are going
to the HBCU from so those students are going to to look into the background of
that firm and that messaging is going to be clear before you ever even arrived on
campus and the culture is pregnant you know I knew that I wanted to be in the
public interest side of things but I often research before I did my
interviews and what that message was clear to me who I started whether it was
going to be an inclusive place whether there was a path for growth for me
whether there were people there who were going to
cultivate me or without going with me that diverse candidate was I going to
make the annual report as the diverse candidate in from the south or what
everything you know what that message is being put out there before you ever even
arrived for the recruiting trip so I think that culture change within is
necessary as well and you might have to bring some other people to the table to
have those culture change discussion so you’ve done this research in education
it might require bringing in someone like that to have the conversation
amongst the partners in the big firm of bringing sewing in booths not
necessarily a part of the inter the inner leadership to have a meaningful
discussion about see I think he is you know whatever whatever area in which the
lawyer wants to succeed whether it be big law or inside a corporation or
inside the judiciary or inside the public defender’s office whatever area
you know there should just be the opportunity to succeed and that’s why
it’s incumbent on us to make those opportunities so it’s really regardless
of the sector in which the individual practices it’s really all right and we spent a lot of time
talking about them and I wouldn’t say that we don’t need to talk about that
space I think you’re right you need to talk about it a little bit more globally
and see whether we are moving the needle I think it’s so space to be our way to
your poi there’s tremendous work to be done a tremendous a preliminary we
already had a question waiting down till the end sherry has mine there was another article written by an
african-american male I did follow by an article called talent or token lawyers
say diversity still can be just for show so it’s just this last year’s and some
prominent attorneys in Atlanta who are basically saying you know law firms are
as I believe you told a story about you know making the pitch with
african-american attorneys but then not putting them and so this is a heated
conversation going on in Atlanta right now which you know we have a really
great diverse legal community very much like these city which you know you need
some candidates I can send some your way thank you better zone you know that’s
not a nation to qualify candidates in DC but it’s a hot topic and it does need to
be addressed as address in this room but I started my
career at a law firm being the only african-american associate I am boutique
firm where I’m the only african-american associate and I’m considering another
firm where there are no female african-american shareholders and it’s
like well I started in 94 this is 2019 it can get a little I just want to make one point the law
schools are required to give reports on how their graduates are doing whether
they’re finding jobs or not and there are a lot of schools particularly when
you’re talking about minority graduates they’re not able to find jobs I mentor a
lot of young students in new lawyers and they’re working in Starbucks and some of
it is Michigan economy I understand all of that but a lot of firms they’re just
not hiring them the other point I wanted to make is a long a long time ago when I
was an assistant prosecutor the prosecutor that the idea to only hired
those four Ivy League schools and they were falling flat on their faces in a
courtroom there are people that have degrees from state universities that
make some of the finest criminal lawyers around they become very very successful
and then lastly I spoke at the Bank of America for one of their conferences and
I was talking about this if you’re hiring a firm and maybe there’s a trial
and the trial is in front of the majority judge or the jury is composed
of minorities you can’t just come into that courtroom without anyone sitting at
the table and you can’t grab someone who happens to work in your firm in the
environmental section and bring them in on a tort case and they’re just sitting
there the jury will notice that there’s no
conversation going on at the breaks that they’re not intricately involved in
examining any of the witnesses so the whole thing of diversity is really very
important but you’ve got to be able to see that big picture and so I’m totally
enjoying this panel it has it made some great week one
that need to be followed up on thank you all right thank you to our panelists

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