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Kathleen Barnett Einhorn

Kathleen Barnett Einhorn of Genova Burns in Newark is the first woman in the firm’s history to serve as an executive committee member and the first to chair a practice group. She chairs the complex commercial litigation practice, which is one of the firm’s two largest. She has played a key role in growing the group from 10 to 22 lawyers. She is successful as a practitioner, having in recent years successfully represented developer Triple Five in connection with litigation over bond issues for the American Dream project in the Meadowlands, among other significant cases. Einhorn also finished her term as chair of the State Bar Association’s Women in the Profession Section earlier this year.

What’s your single best piece of advice for handling a crisis?

Stay calm and efficiently marshal resources. Crises breed panic. Be sure you have an understanding of all relevant information so you can make the best decisions with regard to a plan going forward and how best to implement it to achieve optimal results. Oftentimes those in these situations act too quickly, which can make matters worse.

Name a mentor or someone you admire, and why.

My grandmother, Elizabeth McCarthy, who emigrated from Ireland, alone, at 18 years of age. Her hard work, integrity, strength and desire to provide her family with a better life, while faced with adversity and discrimination, provided a foundation for me to live and succeed on.

Best advice you ever got…

Never quit if you know you’re right. If you’re wrong, admit it, and move on.

What has the #MeToo movement meant to the legal profession?

In addition to kickstarting discussions among employers and their attorneys regarding complicated workplace and equality issues, the #metoo movement has required the legal profession to analyze and confront its practices which, whether intended or not, result in making it more difficult for female attorneys to excel. The #metoo movement has forced our profession to take a hard look at our rules and practices and make the appropriate changes to ensure gender equality.

In 50 words or less, what does the legal profession need to do to improve opportunities for women lawyers?

It starts at the top. The consistent presence and direction of women leaders will inspire inclusion and acceptance of the work-life balance which is required to retain successful female lawyers. Implementing an inclusionary initiative, will help retain female lawyers by providing guidance and support. Retention of women is critical because diversity is simply good business. Women increasingly occupy “seats at the table” at the highest-level positions. If a firm wants to represent a wide demographic of potential business prospects, it is in its best interests to promote women, not only from an ethical stance, but from a bottom-line perspective.

David Gialanella

David Gialanella, Bureau Chief, has been with the New Jersey Law Journal since 2010, covering business of law, litigation, legislation and various other topics. In his current role, he is responsible for the Law Journal's print and web products. Reach him at dgialanella@alm.com.

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