“We knew how important it was for underrepresented lawyers – for lawyers of color, for women – to create these relationships that were organically challenged anyway, but then you add the pandemic on top of that , and people don’t have that face-to-face interaction,” Priddy said.
Priddy was a featured speaker on Thursday’s panel on the impact of Covid-19 and the return to a hybrid working environment for marginalized lawyers. His was one of 30 sessions offered at the virtual conference IWIL: Redesigning the Legal Profession for a Better Future. Katten is one of the original founding champions of IWIL.
Katten’s Kattalyst program pairs senior associates and income partners with business leaders and high-level partners as sponsors who use their knowledge and business connections to open more doors to opportunity. The program is focused on retaining and advancing underrepresented attorneys by providing training and coaching opportunities to help improve their leadership and business development skills.
Priddy said program sponsors and proteges are encouraged to be honest in their conversations without fear of vulnerability.
“Talk about your failures as much as you talk about your success. It’s that resilience and that ability to bounce back and come back from difficult situations that we’re all going through right now in the pandemic, but which obviously can be even more powerful in your Especially for our lawyers of color, for our underrepresented lawyers, the things that they’re often challenged with and deal with — and I’m sure we know when it comes to prejudice — that second chances are often not there,” she said.
Another source of support Priddy mentioned is the Katten Parent Affinity Group, which serves as a resource for working parents to connect and discuss approaches to managing work and family responsibilities.
“We first heard about the challenges of closing child care centers and migrating schools to virtual and female lawyers, in particular, struggling with managing and supporting billable obligations and their work” , said Priddy.
“I would say [parents experienced] burnout, being overwhelmed, frustration because people still wanted to be able to provide great customer service and do their job and they felt – and I can speak personally – like you were failing on all fronts” , she said. “As an organization, we were trying to find ways to [offer] support in a situation where there really were no easy answers.”
To that end, Katten provided career coaching to improve productivity, reduce stress and improve performance, as well as access to a series of webinars on topics such as back-to-school readiness and strategies. to reduce the guilt of working parents.
Roz Pitts, director of professional development and wellbeing at Katten, moderated the IWIL conference session on Thursday titled “Wellness Working Session: Tackling Tough Problems,” focusing on systematic challenges to wellbeing. lawyers and how best to resolve them.
Katten is a full-service law firm with approximately 700 attorneys across United States and in London and Shanghai. Clients seeking sophisticated, high-value legal services turn to Katten for advice locally, nationally and internationally. The firm’s main practice areas include corporate, financial markets and funds, insolvency and restructuring, intellectual property, litigation, real estate, structured finance and securitization, transactional tax planning, private credit and private wealth. Katten represents public and private companies in many sectors, as well as a number of governmental and non-profit organizations and individuals. For more information, visit katten.com.