What are some of your proudest recent achievements? One is the progress we’ve made in increasing the diversity of our New York partnership. Crowell has always had an abundance of talented and diverse attorneys at the junior ranks, but not so much at the partner level. This is a common pattern in big law for sure, but it wasn’t something I was willing to accept. A team of associates, counsel, recruiting professionals, and firm leaders passionate about this issue worked with me to change the composition of the office at the partner level—and it is starting to pay off. It was gratifying to see our early progress gain momentum as new diverse partners contributed to the campaign with initiatives of their own, and I’m proud to say that through recruitment and internal promotion, nearly half of our New York partners, and half of all our New York lawyers, are diverse by gender or otherwise. I was also proud of the experience we had recruiting an entire health care team from an elite New York law firm last year. What began as a conversation with one lawyer quickly advanced to the entire nine-lawyer team choosing to come to Crowell, and transitioning seamlessly into our office. The commonality in these experiences is that they both affirm our culture, which really distinguishes us from competing firms with equally compelling capabilities.
What does it mean to be a leader? Leadership is service to others. In the law firm context, this means being willing to set aside your personal interests to support the people around you and advance the needs and interests of the whole organization. Law firm leaders are drawn in many competing directions, and the best ones can see how to balance individual, office, and firm needs for the best total outcome.
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