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DHC Lawyers & Lobbyists Share Lessons Learned

Throughout history, women have faced incredible challenges, yet have persevered with bravery and resilience. Join us in celebrating Women’s History Month and the incredible women who have blazed uncharted paths for generations.

Women's History Month

March marks Women’s History Month, and March 8 is the annual celebration of International Women’s Day. It’s a good time to reflect on what women bring personally and professionally. But, at DHC, we are stronger and more appreciative of what our women attorneys and government affairs professionals do every single day.

Sharing Work-Wise Wisdom

DHC Women bring experience, care, and personalization to every case and practice area they touch. Wonder how and why? Well, we asked members of our team from across the firm about their experiences, approach to clients, and advice they’d give to up-and-coming and prospective attorneys. We hope you’ll find their responses as diverse as the women we’re proud to have as colleagues at DHC.

What past experiences do you draw on most today?

A mentor once told me, “You never have anything to lose by just asking. You’ll always be surprised by what you can accomplish by just putting out into the universe the questions you need answered.” This has proven to be true on many occasions.

I utilize my previous experience in government — working in the NYS Assembly and NYCDOHMH — to help clients navigate government, whether it be through a legislative matter or working with a government agency to accomplish a goal.

My previous corporate work at other law firms certainly helps with my present work in corporate and securities law, but keeping a positive attitude and being open to learning new things broadens one’s capabilities and ultimately improves skills.

Having gone through divorce myself and becoming a single working parent, has taught me about time management, resilience, and juggling multiple responsibilities. In the work I do, that sort of firsthand experience of having to balance a new type of work and family life allows me to offer compassionate, practical advice and understanding throughout the divorce process.

During my time in government, I loved helping a constituent and seeing my hard work lead to a good result. I think this experience translates to my work today with our clients, mainly our nonprofits and the populations that they serve. Nothing beats walking into a school, seeing the kids you’re helping – and thinking, “This is why we do what we do.”

I have always been fortunate to have been surrounded by strong career women throughout my life. I continue to draw on the advice that my female law professors and law firm partners have given me with respect to building a successful legal career and balancing my career with my personal life and mental health.

What is your unique approach to working with clients, and how does it help you stand out and get the job done?

Each client you work with should be viewed as a new experience – the same methods don’t hold true for each individual. By being flexible, you are better suited to advocate for your client.

Clients appreciate having a consultant who is results-oriented. My approach is to provide clients with all facts and avenues that can be used to accomplish their end goal and work side-by-side with the client to push their agenda.

Combine professionalism and competence with humanity, empathy, and being your honest self.

As a matrimonial attorney, a great deal of my work involves divorce, and my unique approach focuses on empathetic listening and personalized guidance tailored to each client’s needs and circumstances. By prioritizing open communication and strategic planning, I empower clients to navigate their divorces with clarity and confidence, ultimately achieving favorable outcomes while minimizing emotional strain.

As a working mother of young children, I connect with a lot of our clients on that level. Many of us parents banded together as children are yelling in the background during an after-hours call or a baby spits up on your shoulder right before an important Zoom call. Pre-COVID, we did all we could do to hide it from each other. Post-COVID, it is more of a badge of honor than something to be embarrassed about.

 I’m still working on finding my own unique approach to working with clients, but so far, I try to approach every interaction in a personable yet professional manner. 

What advice would you give to younger attorneys, particularly women, as they look to grow in their careers?

Never underestimate what you know. Just because someone says something with authority doesn’t mean they know better than you.

Find a mentor within your field. I would not be where I am today if it weren’t for my mentors, who helped guide me in my career. Also, networking is key. Building your network with like-minded professionals will also help propel your career and open doors.

Never listen to what people say about your professional path, specifically when they say you “can’t do something.”  Don’t stress if some achievement doesn’t happen immediately — just build on yourself step-by-step and pursue what you feel you are passionate about.

Cultivate resilience, assertiveness, and confidence in advocating for themselves and their clients. Embrace mentorship, seek opportunities for continuous learning, and never underestimate the power of building strong professional relationships to advance your career trajectory.

Ask for help and admit when you messed up. I have watched so many women try to muscle through and do it on their own. The biggest learning experiences in my career are admitting I made a mistake and asking for help to fix it. Oh, and as the great Steve Malito says, “Wear comfortable shoes” when in the halls of Albany.

Don’t be afraid to gain hands-on experience and take on new responsibilities — it’s how you learn!