Women in law firms must take responsibility for advancing their careers, but should also be quick to offer the hand of a mentor to women who follow, according to Lynn E. Rzonca, managing partner of the Philadelphia office of Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP.

Ms. Rzonca is one of five accomplished women lawyers scheduled to appear today on the panel "Women Leading in the Legal Profession," presented by the Women's Law Caucus & Career Planning Office in partnership with the Pennsylvania Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession. Ms. Rzonca, who frequently addresses the role of women in the legal profession, is a partner in Ballard's Litigation and Intellectual Property Departments.

She urges women lawyers to pursue opportunities to sharpen the skills they need to advance their practices and bring business into their firms. "There are leadership opportunities for anyone who wants to get there," Ms. Rzonca said. Mentoring is one such opportunity because it is a way for a lawyer to get a good sense of what it takes to advance in a firm. Ms. Rzonca believes that women in management positions have a responsibility to mentor others who are determined to advance.

Ms. Rzonca 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, noncompete agreements, false advertising, counterfeiting, and copyright claims, as well as Internet issues.

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