suhyeon-choi-104926On this International Women’s Day, we reached out to some strong, smart women we know – the in-house counsel in our LinkedIn group – and asked them to say a few words about the mentors that they credit with helping them with their professional advancement. We’re all made better by the passion, guidance, and helping hands of those who have come before us, and my favorite thing about mentorship is that it inspires each of us to reach out to the next person who can use our advice or guidance. We give back because we have been given to so freely.

The ILN has launched our own mentorship program this year, and we’re in the process of pairing up our young lawyers with experienced partners, and I can only hope that both mentors and mentees gain as much from the experience as our in-house counsel have from their mentors. We’ll add additional responses to this post as they come in, and we invite you to share your mentors with us in the comments. Before we get to our in-house counsel commentary, I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes for today:

Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.”

IMG_4012La Toya N. McBean, Esq., President & Attorney-In-Charge of The Daniel Society

Elizabeth Arnovits (deceased), former Executive Director of the Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency. Beth taught me that you need both compassion and grit when leading people and advocating for justice. I worked closely with Beth during the last two years of her life. Her imprint can now be seen through the global work that I lead to confront injustice and reduce extreme poverty.

Mary Dirkes, Shareholder at Howard and Howard Attorneys. Mary taught me that having a stellar reputation is still the most valuable asset for any attorney. Mary’s reputation as a good person, smart lawyer and trusted adviser is recognized by federal judges, lawyers and even my mother.

La Toya N. McBean, Esq., President & Attorney-In-Charge of The Daniel Society, a 501(c)(3) organization with a mission to reduce extreme global poverty and confront injustice in the United States. Ms. McBean is also the owner of the Law Office of LaToya N. McBean, an immigration law practice in downtown Brooklyn, New York.

Linda Marie Norcross, Assistant General Counsel at Aristocrat Technologies, IncAAEAAQAAAAAAAAIbAAAAJDRlMWQ5NmEzLTA0NzItNGU0ZC05YjM4LTYwNzk4ZjI5ZjNiYw.

The mentor that has had the most profound impact on me has been Tom Reich. He is a Senior VP and Legal Counsel at MGM Grand. He was previously my boss during my later years with MGM Grand.

When we first met, I was a 24 year old single mother who dreamt of one day going to law school. 6 years later, I began my 1st year of law school (part time/evening class) and my 1st year working as his executive legal assistant.

Throughout my 1st 3 years of school Tom kept me from giving up. He encouraged me to use his office to study during lunch and any time he was away. He exposed me to practical experience that was and is invaluable, and which required me to step up and find the answers to real world business legal issues and challenges. He eventually, albeit gently , nudged me out of the nest to go to work as a law clerk in my final law school year. He saw something in me that at the time, I didn’t even see in myself, and for that I am forever grateful.

Linda Marie Norcross is the Assistant General Counsel at Aristocrat Technologies, Inc., an ASX50 listed company and one of the world’s leading providers of gaming solutions. Ms. Norcross is has 20+ years of management experience, with proven expertise in trademark and copyright, licensing, and support of due diligence initiatives, as well as commercial transactions. She’s also adept at independent risk assessment, prioritization, and providing practical legal advice complementing target business objectives. 

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Photo of Lindsay Griffiths Lindsay Griffiths

Lindsay Griffiths is the International Lawyers Network’s Executive Director. In this capacity, Ms. Griffiths is responsible for the oversight and management of day-to-day operations of the International Lawyers Network (ILN). She develops strategies and implementation plans to achieve the ILN’s goals, and handles…

Lindsay Griffiths is the International Lawyers Network’s Executive Director. In this capacity, Ms. Griffiths is responsible for the oversight and management of day-to-day operations of the International Lawyers Network (ILN). She develops strategies and implementation plans to achieve the ILN’s goals, and handles recruitment, member retention, and a high level of service to members. She is engaged in the legal industry to stay on top of trends, both in law firms and law firm networks.

In her role as Executive Director, she develops and facilitates relationships among ILN member firm lawyers at 90+ law firms in 67 countries, and seeks opportunities for member firms to build business and relationships, while ensuring member participation in Network events and initiatives. These initiatives include facilitating referrals, the management and execution of the marketing and business development strategy for the Network, which encompasses all communications, push-down efforts, and marketing partnerships, providing support and guidance to the chairs and group leaders for the ILN’s thirteen practice and industry specialty groups, the ILN’s women’s initiative, the ILN’s mentorship program, the management and execution of all ILN conferences, and more.

JD Supra Readers Choice Top Author 2019

During her previous tenure as Director of Global Relationship Management, the ILN has been shortlisted as a Global Law Firm Network of the Year by The Lawyer for 2016 and 2017, and included as a Chambers & Partners Leading Law Firm Network since 2011. She was awarded “Thought Leader of the Year” by the Legal Marketing Association’s New York chapter in 2014 for her substantive contributions to the industry, and was recently included in Clio’s list for “34 People in Legal You Should Follow on Twitter.” She was also chosen for the American Bar Association Journal’s inaugural Web 100‘s Best Law Blogs, where judge Ivy Grey said “This blog is outstanding, thoughtful and useful.” Ms. Griffiths was recently chosen for as a Top Author by JD Supra in their 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards, for the level of engagement and visibility she attained with readers on the topic of marketing & business development. She has been the author of Zen & the Art of Legal Networking since February of 2009.