After wrapping up maternity leave more than a dozen years ago, Tanya Forsheit came to a realization: If she wanted a more fulfilling legal career, she needed to take things into her own hands. She pivoted her practice–shifting her focus from general commercial litigation to privacy and data security–and began to develop a bigger book of business.
How did she do it? Forsheit said her path was the result of intentional and ongoing efforts. She credits her success as a rainmaker to networking and marketing herself through writing and speaking opportunities. Volunteering to serve on law firm committees and in bar association roles not only helped with business development, but also taught her invaluable lessons about leadership.
“Active bar association participation can provide good leadership training and management training, while also teaching you to deal with different–and sometimes difficult–personalities,” Forsheit said. “The lessons you learn can help you in your law firm.”
Forsheit is active with the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, where she previously served as the organization’s president. While she’s a member of several other bar associations, she says that women-focused groups offer some added benefits.
“I like being in organizations where women can know each other better,” she said. “It’s been five years since I was the association’s president, but I remain close friends with the women with whom I served. They are a source of business referrals, they’ve helped me learn about other practice areas and they answer the phone when I need information or legal advice. There’s also something to be said for women having an environment where men aren’t hogging the attention and listening to themselves talk. There’s a need for an environment where women feel comfortable speaking up.”
There’s also something to be said for women having an environment where men aren’t hogging the attention and listening to themselves talk. There’s a need for an environment where women feel comfortable speaking up.
Forsheit’s efforts to grow her practice and take on leadership roles have paid off in spades.
Now a partner and co-chair of the data security practice at Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz, Forsheit was previously at BakerHostetler and earlier in her career was a co-founder of InfoLawGroup. A host of publications have recognized her for privacy, data security and technology work. Among those, accolades have come from Chambers USA, IT Law Experts, Who’s Who Legal, and Super Lawyers, as well as the Los Angeles Daily Journal, which has twice included her in its list of Top Women Litigators.
For women lawyers who want to enhance their business development skills, Forsheit offers some advice.
“You can’t rest on your laurels,” she said. “You have to continually to work at business development. I’ve had situations where I felt as if business was drying up and then tons of work came to me. It’s the result of deliberate, intentional efforts to keep developing new business.”
Clear Channel Outdoor Americas has appointed Lynn Feldman as executive vice president and general counsel. Feldman previously served as senior vice president and general counsel at Wyndham Hotel Group.
Greenberg Traurig, Washington, D.C., has recruited Elaine C. Greenberg to join the firm as a shareholder in its litigation group. Greenberg was previously a partner at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe. Earlier in her career, Greenberg was senior officer at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Enforcement Division.
Holland & Knight has recruited Lara Covington and Lisa Prager as partners in its national white collar defense & investigations practice. Prager will reside in the firm’s New York office and Covington will be resident in its Washington, D.C., office. Both women were previously at Schulte Roth & Zabel.
Lisa M. Campisi has joined Blank Rome’s New York office as a partner in the insurance practice. Campisi previously practiced at Morgan Lewis.
Clark Hill has recruited Karen C. Bennett to join the firm’s Washington, D.C., office as a member of its environment, energy and natural resources practice group. She was previously at Hunton & Williams.
Barbara Müller has joined Cozen O Connor’s Minneapolis office as a member of its business law group. Müller, who holds both U.S. and German law degrees, was previously at Fredrikson & Bryon’s Minneapolis office.
Dorsey & Whitney has recruited Laura Graf and Anne Olson from Lindquist & Vennum. The women, who are both joining as partners, are part of the firm’s real estate and land use group.
Tamara Bock has joined Epstein Becker & Green as a member. Bock is part of the firm’s the employment, labor and workforce management, and litigation practices. She was previously at Dewey Pegno & Kramarsky.
Lisa I. Carteen has joined Howard & Howard as co-founder of its Los Angeles office as a partner. She was previously at BakerHostetler.
Husch Blackwell has recruited Donna Vetrano Pryor as a partner in its energy and natural resources practice. She was previously a partner at Jackson Lewis.
Maureen M. Stampp has joined Kaufman Dolowich & Voluck as a partner in the firm’s New York office. Previously a partner at Hinshaw & Culbertson, Stampp is part of KDV’s labor and employment group.
McCarter & English has hired Kathleen N. Ehrhard as an intellectual property partner in its New York office. She was previously at Frommer Lawrence & Haug.
Eileen McKillop has joined Sedgwick’s Seattle office as a partner. Previously a partner at Lane Powell, McKillop is a litigator and a member of the firm’s commercial, construction, environmental and toxic tort, and product liability practices.
Rimon Law has hired Lisa-Marie Monsanto as a partner in its Washington, D.C., office. Monsanto, who was previously a partner at Katten Muchin Rosenman, is part of the firm’s corporate, financial services and international teams.