In celebration of Women’s History Month, The Chicago Bar Association interviewed several all-stars from our March 6th Working Women’s Legal Summit about the issues facing women in the legal profession today and some secrets to their success. We will close out the month with a series of posts featuring these interviews.
Below is our featured interview with Lauren Novak, a partner and deputy practice group leader of labor and employment in Schiff Hardin’s Chicago office.
Q: What is the most pressing issue facing women in the law today?
A: We have to figure out how to retain women in law firms and elevate them to leadership positions. The traditional way that law firms have operated is clearly not working, as the numbers continue to show that women do not stay.
Q: What is one thing a mentor has helped you learn in the course of your career that you would like to pass on to other women as they navigate the legal profession?
A: If you are climbing the ladder, don’t pull it up behind you. We are better and stronger together.
Q: What is one thing you do to achieve a sense of balance between your professional and personal life?
A: Although I’m not always successful, I try to reserve between 6:00 and 8:00 p.m. to spend time with my children. When necessary, I tell my colleagues that I am not available and I put my phone away so I am not stressed out by emails. This allows me to be more present with my children when I am with them. I believe that having this time makes me a better parent and a better attorney.