February 27, 2012 Articles

ABA Women Leaders: On the Importance and Impact of Mentoring

A select group of ABA women leaders were asked to describe how mentors had positively impacted their development as lawyers and leaders.

By M.C. Sungaila

In keeping with the theme of this issue of the Woman Advocate Newsletter, a select group of ABA women leaders were asked to describe how both male and female mentors had positively impacted their development as lawyers and leaders, and to pass on some of that advice to newer women lawyers. Here are their stories and advice:

Laurel Bellows, ABA President-Elect; former chair of the House of Delegates; former chair of the Commission on Women in the Profession; former chair of the Finance Committee of the Board of Governors; and founding partner, Bellows Law Group (Chicago, IL)

Q: Who was the biggest influence on your career; what was the best career advice you received from them or others?

A: Biggest influence: Joel Bellows, who trained me as a trial lawyer, and whom I eventually married. Things he taught me that I now share with others: The practice of law is not a popularity contest. Your job is to represent your client, not to be liked by the other side. When they come for your client with flamethrowers, the only place for you to stand is in front of your client. Always ethical, never a gray line, but always a zealous representation of the client's interests.

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