Today on March 8th and International Women’s Day, Friedman Schuman, PC. joins the global celebration of women’s accomplishments throughout history. We are incredibly fortunate to work alongside many talented, powerful women attorneys here at our firm. Hear from some of our women attorneys at Friedman Schuman as they share about their experiences in the legal profession and offer their best pieces of advice to the next generation of female lawyers.
What inspired you to become a lawyer?
Lee – “I think that I was inspired by the idea that I could be an advocate for a person or for a cause—either that or from watching too many courtroom television dramas.”
Melissa – “My little sister, Ali, has a rare disability that robbed her of the ability to speak at a young age. Her will to live has inspired me to improve the lives of others, just as she has impacted me and everyone around her. While in high school, I founded a non-profit organization that raised significant funds for childhood epilepsy research and education. This platform provided me the opportunity to speak up when others could not. Along with my love of reading and writing, the legal profession was a clear career path. Now, as an eleven-year attorney advocating on behalf of victims who have suffered from serious medical malpractice, criminal violence, defective products, I see each day as an opportunity to give voice to those individuals, who are otherwise cast aside.”
Megan – “Being an attorney allows me to help guide clients through some of the most difficult and challenging experiences of their lives. I am proud to belong to a profession which gives me the opportunity to make valuable contributions to clients’ lives and smooth their path towards closure and resolution. There is no better reward at the termination of the case than a client’s gratitude for your hard work and counsel.”
What is the professional accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Lee – “Although I am proud of results I’ve achieved for clients in particular cases, I am most proud of the relationships I’ve developed over the years–with clients and with other attorneys.”
What is your favorite part about being a lawyer?
Lee – “My favorite part is when I can apply the law to the set of circumstances in a case or some other client matter and develop a strategy that will likely produce the best result.”
Melissa – “When I achieve a successful result for a client and their family!”
What advice would you give future female lawyers?
Lee – “Learn from older established attorneys—male and female—but don’t be intimidated by other attorneys just because they are more experienced.”
Melissa – “The legal industry as a whole has more opportunities for women than ever before. If you are interested in becoming a lawyer specifically, I recommend gaining as much exposure as possible—talk to friends or family in the legal field, join groups on social media, and find opportunities where you can spend a day or a few weeks shadowing an attorney to see what it is they do on a daily basis. A good lawyer has the ability to make a difference in a client’s life. You should take that responsibility to heart and be willing to put in the necessary hours.”
Megan – “Be your own advocate. Oftentimes, female attorneys passionately advocate for their clients, but find it difficult to advocate for themselves for fear of being perceived as “difficult” or “aggressive”. You have earned your seat at the table. Make no apologies for being heard in the courtroom, boardroom, or office. Your contributions and insight matter. “