June 19, 2019 – On June 10, 2019, Cushman & Wakefield hosted its first West Coast Women in Law Leadership Event in San Francisco at the top of Salesforce Tower San Francisco. Hosted by Cushman & Wakefield’s Legal Sector Advisory Group (“LSAG”) and Women’s Integrated Network (“WIN”), the privately attended event was an opportunity to bring together a panel of highly successful law firm and in-house counsel leaders, both attorneys and executives, to share their life journeys, obstacles, and solutions that got them to where they are today.
The panel discussion and networking event featured four powerhouse women within the legal sector: Wei Chen, Vice President & Associate General Counsel, Salesforce; Tessa Schwartz, Managing Partner, Morrison & Foerster LLP; Susan Spaeth, Chief Legal Officer and Former Managing Partner, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, LLP; and Erica Wray, Legal Director, Real Estate, Uber Technologies Inc. The discussion was moderated by Sherry Cushman, Executive Managing Director & Leader, Legal Sector Advisory Group, Cushman & Wakefield.
“Women in Law offers a platform for female leaders in the industry to share their journeys and profound experiences,” said Sherry Cushman. “The panelists’ candor and recommendations were embraced by the attendees of all ages to help guide them through their own careers. In addition, how firms are improving diversity, a hot topic in the legal sector, was addressed in detail providing the audience with ideas to bring back to their own firms.”
Cushman added, “Now in its fourth year, Women in Law has proven to be a great success in New York City, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and now San Francisco with plans to expand to new markets in the coming months.”
During the event, panelists engaged in a dynamic discussion on their careers, their keys to success, and their actionable recommendations on how to improve diversity within the legal sector. After a lively Q&A session with the audience, the conversations continued during the reception, with the panelists speaking one-on-one with guests while sharing additional insights and personal anecdotes of their experiences in the legal industry.
Complementing the event, Cushman & Wakefield partnered with Dress for Success, a global nonprofit organization that provides professional attire for low-income women, to help support their job-search and interview process. Led by 300 volunteers, Dress for Success San Francisco has served over 7,500 women in San Francisco since 2006. Cushman & Wakefield’s effort, which has consisted of generous contributions from both clients and company members, has collected a total of well over $10,000 in clothing and monetary donations to date, and still counting.
Quotes from Panelists:
Tessa Schwartz, Managing Partner, Morrison & Foerster LLP: “You must be excellent at what you do so that you have the respect of your colleagues within the organization and you have to demonstrate an interest in the whole group/workplace and care about the people around you. You need to act like a leader to become a leader.”
Erica Wray, Legal Director, Real Estate, Uber Technologies Inc: “Leadership is about the We not Me”
Wei Chen, Vice President & Associate General Counsel, Salesforce: “Don’t look around you, look at where you are going, where you want to be.”
Susan Spaeth, Chief Legal Officer and Former Managing Partner, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, LLP: “Learn how to strategically say ‘no.’ When you look ahead to where you want your career to be five years from now, and you have a vision of what you want it to be, you need to do the work now to get there in the future. Accepting projects that do not help you reach your goals creates an unwanted distraction. So, while you are expanding your skillset and do not want to be shoehorned, you have to get rid of the clutter to reach your goals.”
Sherry Cushman, Executive Managing Director & Leader, Legal Sector Advisory Group, Cushman & Wakefield: “Life is not fair, the only thing you can control is your attitude and your effort.”
Cushman & Wakefield’s Legal Sector Advisory Group (LSAG) is composed of over 400 advisors from across the globe that specialize in creating and implementing real estate solutions that support law firms and related businesses. LSAG recently published its proprietary 2019 National Legal Sector Benchmark Survey – Bright Insight. To learn more or request a copy of the results, please click here.
Cushman & Wakefield Women’s Integrated Network (WIN) was created to accelerate the advancement of women working at Cushman & Wakefield. By sharing information, best practices, education, and experience, members of this group help one another develop leadership skills and career advancing opportunities. The group’s mission is to develop and support the talents of our women team members, and have meaningful impact on the firm’s performance.