Leila Narvid, 33, partner
Payne & Fears
Narvid has achieved rainmaker status by resolving complex employment disputes for clients ranging from small technology companies to national investment management firms. In one of her recent wins, she co-led a team defending a Fortune 500 client in a wage-and-hour class action where plaintiffs alleged misclassification under the managerial exemption. She slashed this client's liability by negotiating a settlement in the second-wave class action that was nearly one-tenth of the amount of the first-wave price tag. In another case, she persuaded a national bank to dismiss a corporate raiding lawsuit against her client. She has second-chaired two jury trials. She also writes on issues of employment, health care, professional development and mentoring. In just six years she has published more than 15 articles as well as mentored new attorneys, with a particular interest in advancing minority women in the legal profession.
Word that best describes you?
Kind of law you would least like to practice?
Legal malpractice. I think it would be challenging to Monday-morning-quarterback my colleagues.
Most interesting place you've traveled, and why?
Ikaria, Greece, in the eastern Aegean Sea. Historically, the residents of the island have been nocturnal, and that behavior is still apparent today. During the Middle Ages, the islanders built small villages hidden in the mountains to hide from pirates, and conducted most of their activity during the night to remain inconspicuous.
If you could take a year off, what would you do?
Spend a year at a writers' colony, reading great literature and trying my hand at creative writing. A fun change of pace from writing briefs.
Most unusual hobby?
A lawyer you admire?
Clara Shortridge Foltz, the first female attorney in California. Her contributions to the profession spanning from women's rights to criminal defense are remarkable.