Dan Baldwin 0000-00-00 00:00:00
Wood, Smith, Henning & Berman LLP was founded in 1997 and currently has more than 120 attorneys in offices in California, Nevada, Washington, Colorado and Arizona. The firm serves organizations in a diverse range of business matters to commercial and civil litigation. Since its inception, WSHB has sought to balance the “life of a lawyer” with the needs of today’s working women by setting up a partnership track that supported the dual role many women partners have to balance between work and home. This forward-thinking approach also attracted three key members to the Phoenix team: partners Jill Ann Herman, Brenda Radmacher and managing partner Rosary Hernandez. Collectively, Herman, Hernandez and Radmacher represent private, publicly held and nonprofit local, regional, national and international clients. The substantial majority of their practice is representing companies in large exposure cases, including commercial/business, construction, personal and catastrophic injury, employment and labor, real estate, environmental, product liability, professional liability and toxic tort. All three predict increased opportunities for women in the law in coming decades. Some, such as Radmacher, note that women have certain innate advantages. “Women are better able to handle complex cases, especially multi-party litigation in which large amount of data and information has to be managed. Women tend to multi-task well.” For young women considering a law degree, the three partners agree on the need for introspection and for investing the time to discover one’s interests, skills and abilities, and motivations. Radmacher, who has been with the firm almost from its beginning, agrees. “Fifteen years ago a woman’s role wasn’t as established as it is today. When I walked into the courtroom I was often asked if I was the court reporter. Other attorneys and clients are now comfortable and confident working with female lawyers.” “When starting my career the other lawyers would tease me about being on the mommy track and not the partner track. And that’s changed now. Law firms, and particularly our firm, are willing to work with you to find that balance. You can be successful in both arenas but you have to be part of a firm willing to support that,” Hernandez says. Times have changed significantly, adds Herman. “I think it’s important for women to have the opportunity to have a career and a family because twenty years ago that was not the norm. Women in the law were still a minority and women with children were an even smaller minority. You had no opportunity for the management track if you wanted or had a family.” Challenges are always part of any profession. Hernandez notes, “The biggest challenge for women in business, including law, is finding a balance. As a first generation Cuban-American I have so many more opportunities than my mother or grandmother were ever given. They always encouraged me to strive for the American Dream, and I have taken it to heart, trying to pass the message on to my three daughters. This is a great time to be a woman in a profession. The world is changing. It’s an exciting time.”
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