вход по аккаунту


How to Walk the Talk and Change the Conversation: Practical

код для вставки
American Bar Association
Section of Family Law
Annual Meeting
Moscone Convention Center
Friday, August 9, 2013
Melissa Kucinski, Esq.
Denise Mirman, Esq.
Edith Osman, Esq.
Anita Ventrelli, Esq.
Melissa Kucinski is a private family lawyer and mediator, adjunct law professor teaching
international family law, and founder of a nonprofit promoting access to justice. She
currently serves as chair of the ABA Family Law Section’s International Committee and
the ABA Section of International Law’s International Family Mediation Task Force. She
sits as a member of the U.S. Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee on Private
International Law, is author to several articles on the topic of mediating international
family matters, and has spoken widely on that topic. Melissa received an award for
Outstanding Contribution to the Family Law Section in 2012.
Denise Mirman is a principal and the managing partner of Friedman & Mirman Co. LPA,
a family law firm in Columbus, Ohio. She has been practicing in family law for over 30
years, and is an OSBA-board certified specialist in that area. She is listed in Best Lawyers
in America and is a Fellow in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Denise has
also been named an Ohio Super Lawyer in Family Law since the designation's inception,
and is ranked as one of the Top 50 Female Ohio Super Lawyers and one of the Top 25
Female Columbus Super Lawyers. Denise's practice concentrates on highly complex
divorce cases, and she practices in all areas of family law.
Anita Ventrelli. A firm partner since 1997, Anita simplifies the legal process for clients,
develops proactive strategy tailored to each client’s needs while using analytical skills to
master financial matters for an optimum position in trial or settlement of complex
matters for high profile clients. Anita serves on the Board and Faculty of the ABA Family
Law Section/NITA Trial Advocacy Institute and as a Delegate in the ABA House of
Delegates. Anita’s peers respect her courtroom results and have recommended her for
inclusion amongst a group of elite family law practitioners. Since 1997, she has been a
fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. In 2003, the Chicago Daily Law
Bulletin named her one of “40 Attorneys Under 40 Illinois Attorneys to Watch.” Since
2005, she has been recognized as an Illinois Super Lawyer. Anita has also been included
in the Leading Lawyers Network and the Best Lawyers of America.
August 9, 2013 – 3:45 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.
Moscone Convention Center
Presented By:
Melissa Kucinski, San Francisco, CA
Denise Mirman, Coumbus, OH
Edith Osman, Miami, FL (Facilitator)
Anita M. Ventrelli, Chicago, IL
It is only after a woman rises above the glass ceiling that those who conclude that her
arrival is complete reflect on how she got there. At times, it is difficult to determine the forces at
work. That said, in constructing this program, each of the panelists were asked to consider what
things impressed them enough to form the basis of conscious behavior changes, as well as noting
things that came naturally to them that they found helpful as they progressed in their careers.
Our panel is both diverse in age, ethnicity and geography to give a wide range of ideas for
We begin with our youngest panelist, Melissa Kucinski:
“Things I Wish I Knew my
First Year of Practice”:
Be Yourself. Each person has their own personality, their own
way of practicing, and their own way of handling clients. You do
not have to intimidate another lawyer, but you should be observant
of other lawyers and learn from them.
Be Straightforward. In particular, when trying to win a potential
client's work, it is more important to set realistic expectations of
the process, system and your work dynamic as a client-lawyer
team than to only focus on the things that will win this client's
Be Humble. Lawyers need not insist upon being aggressive and
show ego in order to show power and control. Realize that you
learn something new every day. Be receptive to what you can
learn from others. Continue learning and this will make you a
better and more well-rounded lawyer.
Be Confident and Willing to Assert an Opinion. Many young
lawyers will fear expressing an opinion or reaching a conclusion.
They fear being "wrong.” Young lawyers should not be afraid to
be wrong - they will be wrong, but their opinions, right or wrong,
can help improve an argument, clarify a goal, or allow others to
teach the young lawyer.
Be Attentive to Detail. Double and triple check your work. Hand
work to another lawyer as if it is the final draft on which you will
put your name.
Anticipate and Prepare. Review your work and try to assess what
others may request of you. Do not do the bare minimum, and do
not wait to be told what to do next. Prepare every case and
assignment as if you were the only one finalizing the assignment.
Believe! Be open to new opportunities and take that leap of
faith. There are times when others might see something in you that
you do not see in yourself. Even if it might be scary to embark on
a new adventure, whether it be to present at your first CLE, draft
your first law review article, speak to a top government official, or
move across the ocean to consult for the Hague Conference for the
summer putting your private practice on hold, you need to be
receptive to all the doors these opportunities can open for you.
Now we turn to Denise Mirman, a named partner in a Columbus, Ohio, firm admitted to
practice in 1982:
Listening. Listening is an undervalued skill. Lawyers are often too anxious to
talk about what they know, but it's only by listening that you find out what a client needs or
what the opposing attorney or judge thinks. This applies to life outside work too.
Balance. If you want work to be your life, that's your choice, but if you don't,
you have to learn how to set boundaries, and then keep them. There will always be more work to
Law school does not teach you how to practice law; you will learn that from the
lawyers around you. Try to associate with well-respected attorneys, show some respect for the
practice, and pay attention to how others practice, both the good and the bad. Every encounter
is a chance to learn and grow. It may take 3-5 years of practice before you feel at all
"competent" representing clients in any field of law. Find an accessible, trusted mentor to help
you with this, because the steep learning curve can be very frustrating.
Finally, a panelist who progressed from law clerk to equity partner in a Boutique Firm,
Anita M. Ventrelli licensed in 1989:
10 Tips to Distinguish Yourself as a Law Firm Leader
Watch as Well as Listen to those around you. When you have the chance to
observe more than one lawyer in an interaction, make mental, if not physical, notes of what
worked and did not work for each of the lawyers. School yourself in the meaning of body
language and see the impact of carriage and posture (both positive and negative).
Teaching Yourself. Get in touch with the way that you learn best. Seek out
learning experiences that play to your strengths to learn more quickly.
Identify the Approaches that Give you the Greatest Comfort. For those of us
who are not creative, beginning any project with an analytical approach is a help and before we
know it, we segue into the creative aspect without knowing it is there and, hence, not fearing it.
For those who are more creative, reverse the process.
Don’t Entertain Thoughts of Rejection. What would you try if you knew you
could not fail? Sometimes thinking positively (or not thinking negatively) can influence how
you present yourself. Maintain a sense of balance and humor in every situation. This helps put
clients at ease, disarms opponents and helps make judges like you, and we all know judges tend
to do more in response to someone whose approach they like who also presents rock solid
information and is reliable about facts.
How to Become Valued. Advice from my first boss who became my Godfather,
Philip Edward Robinson. Make yourself indispensable in any organization or situation and you
cannot help but succeed.
Confidence is Key. An Observation from my senior partner, Donald C. Schiller,
that influenced everything I did afterwards:
No one is more compelling than one who is
confident. That said, figuring out what makes each of us confident is a life lesson that we can
spend a lifetime learning. In my experience, the components to consider are:
Knowledge of subject matter;
Having set realistic expectations with the client and all
team members;
Having had time to think through the permutations of what
can be variable/what you might be asked.
Suppressing the tendency to be defensive when questioned.
Save the Best for Last…Your Opinions! Endeavor to be the last to voice an
analysis or opinion and show you listened to and agree with or disagree with the remark made by
those who precede you. People respect one who appears thoughtful.
Love Language. The late Joseph N. DuCanto fascinated me early in my career
by his ability to turn a phrase and create images with words. He showed that it could be done
everywhere in our work and that well-chosen words are a goldmine of tools to persuade.
Someone famous once apologized to a correspondent saying: “I would have written you a shorter
letter but I didn’t have time.”
Believe in What you Advocate and Work Hard.
There is no greater
satisfaction in knowing you did all you could to achieve your goal.
Credibility. Do not lend your credibility to those who are not worthy. If you are
critical of another lawyer’s civility or truthfulness or any other practice, don’t socialize with
them because it subtly undermines the things you vocalize.
Без категории
Размер файла
176 Кб
Пожаловаться на содержимое документа