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Litigation Radio

Step by Step: How a Prominent Litigator Built Her High-Profile Career

David Joseph Scriven-Young

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We return to our series profiling leading litigators and business builders with guest Paula Hinton, a litigation partner and executive committee member with international firm Winston & Strawn. She’s held numerous leadership positions, is recognized across the profession, and handles a variety of complex cases. And she did it her way. “It starts with taking people out to breakfast!”

Growing up the daughter of a respected small-town attorney in Alabama, Hinton jokes that she was “Scout” to a real-life Atticus Finch of the novel To Kill a Mockingbird. Hinton learned at a young age the trust clients place in their attorneys and the duty attorneys have to serve clients and the community, in and out of the courthouse.

Hinton’s path took her from a small town to big city firms with international clients. Entering an area of the law that at the time featured few women, Hinton made her own way, walking into senior attorneys’ offices and volunteering for the toughest cases. In an era before the phrase “work-life balance,” she learned to manage the demands of high stakes law in balance with her personal life.

Throughout, Hinton strove to raise her profile, develop a strong reputation, and build and sustain business relationships through involvement in nonprofit and association work and by making herself available to senior firm members for complex cases. “Don’t wait for them to find you, you go find them,” she says. Hear Hinton’s tips for building a high-profile career in litigation, leveraging both corporate and American Bar Association relationships, and building on each previous step.