Management opportunities exist for women in law firms, and women should seek out and seize them. But firms also have a responsibility to ensure that female lawyers are positioned to take advantage of such opportunities.

That's the message delivered by Lynn Rzonca, managing partner of the Philadelphia office of Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP, at the "Women in the Legal Profession Summit: Rainmaking, Negotiating and Collaborative Development," held September 17 at the Cira Centre. Ms. Rzonca participated in a panel discussion of firm managing partners entitled "How Can Women Succeed in Law Firm Culture?"

Ms. Rzonca offered the Ballard Spahr women's initiative group BALLARD WOMEN as an example of a successful women's initiative as she and four other current or former managing partners discussed women and the legal industry. BALLARD WOMEN aims to increase the visibility and marketing of Ballard's female lawyers by setting up opportunities for them to interact with clients, particularly female executives and business owners, at settings outside traditional client-development venues.

Ms. Rzonca also raised the issue of mentoring. Women who want to attain leadership posts need to be aggressive about pursuing opportunities to be mentored, she said. Through mentoring, lawyers can acquire a good sense of what it takes to advance in a firm. Ms. Rzonca also said that women such as herself, who hold firm management positions, have a responsibility to mentor others bent on making the ascent.

Ms. Rzonca is a partner in the Litigation Department and a member of the Intellectual Property Group. She concentrates her practice on intellectual property and litigation counseling. She has handled a wide range of intellectual property litigation matters, including patent, trademark, trade dress, trade secret theft, non-compete agreements, false advertising, counterfeiting, and copyright claims, as well as Internet issues.

 

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