Strauss is a partner in the commercial litigation practice Saul Ewing and chair of the firm’s women’s development initiative. She has a true passion for advocating for the advancement of women. Even before she was named partner this year, she served as a driving force behind the creation of Saul Ewing’s women’s development initiative. As a young associate, her vision was to create an affinity group to allow for collaboration among women on myriad issues. She has surpassed this vision, making the program one of the firm’s most robust internal and external initiatives. Her dedication to advancing women has also reached outside the firm. In February 2011, Strauss conceived and organized the first-ever meeting of leaders of women’s initiatives in law firms in greater Philadelphia.

What career path would you have pursued if you weren’t a lawyer?

Only career path I’ve ever wanted to pursue is an attorney. I made up my mind to do so in 5th grade and took a mock law class  on Saturday mornings in preparation.

Name a mentor or someone you admire?

I admire the women partners at my firm-most notably my mentors and the women who recruited me to be a litigator- Cathy Devlin and Amy Kline. They are two of the best advocates I know and if I ever needed a lawyer I would want them representing me.

What is the best advice you ever got?

Best career advice I got was to work hard, be responsive and have good sponsors. A successful career will follow.

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

Three things: 1) internal firm programs that foster and promote women’s advancement; 2) a pipeline of sponsors (both men and women) attorneys to help advance and retain women especially when they are balancing family obligations; and 3) provide and support flexible working arrangements

What’s the one piece of advice would you give someone when dealing with a crisis?

Stay calm and don’t react immediately if you don’t have to, sometimes the best course of action will reveal itself after some time for reflection.