|Gruber Hurst Johansen Hail Shank Attorney Shonn Brown quoted in The Dallas Morning News Texas Lawbook article |
Group offers support for women lawyers in Dallas
|July 9, 2012|
Dallas Morning News:
As she rose through the ranks at litigation powerhouse Susman Godfrey, Ophelia Camiña saw too many of her female colleagues leaving the profession.
Many felt left behind on the path to partnership long enjoyed by male lawyers. They were not invited to the cozy business lunches and paneled-office meetings where the men wooed and won new clients.
"I started seeing more and more of these women leaving and I started thinking: 'What are we doing? Why aren't we retaining these women?'" Camiña said. "It's not just hiring them, you've got to retain them and you've got to promote them in order to saturate the ranks at the management level."
Tired of studies that only highlighted the problem, Camiña had her own solution. She brought together two dozen Dallas women, each practicing different types of law in separate offices, for a new networking group she named Act III.
What started out three years ago as monthly social gatherings to share referrals has morphed into a vital forum for the women to deal with their most important career issues, whether it is jumping to a different firm or running for judge.
One of the founding members, A. Shonn Brown, gained moral support when several Act III friends showed up during a contentious trial.
"They were giving me the 'atta girl' from the gallery of the courtroom and sent me notes throughout the process. The fact they were there out of their busy schedules did mean a lot," Brown said.
Brown consulted with Camiña before she decided to leave her large law firm for litigation boutique Gruber Hurst Johansen Hail Shank. Others have discussed whether to change firms, and one member was hired by a woman she met through the group.
© 2012, The Dallas Morning News Inc.
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