What are some of your proudest recent achievements?
My proudest recent professional achievement was being promoted on April 1 to lead the global antitrust and competition team at Norton Rose Fulbright. Our global antitrust and competition team is rated among the top 10 global elite firms worldwide, with 150 lawyers in 26 countries. I returned to private practice less than five years ago, and I have been honored by the leadership roles afforded me by the firm. I am proud that a firm as well-respected as Norton Rose Fulbright has put its trust in me to lead this prominent global team. My proudest personal moment was performing the wedding ceremony marrying my daughter and son-in-law. We all are multi-dimensional and often feel the tug of one aspect of our lives pulling at another. As I’m sure others have experienced, I often have found myself making sacrifices because of career demands and wondering if I am making the right choice. As I performed the wedding ceremony marrying my daughter and son-in-law, I could not help but feel immense honor and pride to have found such a special place in the lives and hearts of my children.
Name a lawyer or mentor whose leadership inspired you.
I had the opportunity to work for an inspirational leader when I was in-house counsel at Novartis. He energized the team and created a common sense of purpose and clear vision for the future. Most importantly for me, he showed me the value of authentic leadership which served as a model for me when I became General Counsel and led a team of around 55 professionals. What spoke to me most was the importance of being an empathetic leader, recognizing the strengths and weaknesses of each team member, and leading the team in a way that inspired each individual to perform at his or her best in order to help the organization achieve its goals. That leadership style has stayed with me to this day.
How are the business and profession of law changing, and how should lawyers adapt for the future?
We find ourselves in a unique time, facing new challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. While lawyers are notoriously slow at adapting to change, we have done an amazing job of showing that we can accept rapid change and thrive. We have needed to find the skills to conduct remote mediations, livestream depositions, and handle team meetings through videoconferences. I believe we have done a remarkable job of proving that the profession can adapt for the future.
What is the best advice for someone considering a career in law, or someone already in the profession who is seeking to make a greater impact?
The most important piece of advice that I can give to someone starting out or trying to make a greater impact can be summed up in a single word: resilience. We all face challenges in our careers, whether small disappointments or larger existential threats. It is easy to view these challenges as walls that inhibit progress and prevent growth. Success comes from not seeing these obstacles as restraints but rather hurdles that we must vault past and jump over – through tireless efforts, careful introspection, and perseverance. A career often is not a straight path but rather a winding road. If we work hard, focus on our talents, and are resilient, we will achieve your goals in the end.