The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal (MSPBJ) has published a “Table of Experts” panel discussion on the topic women in law, featuring Hellmuth & Johnson partner Heidi Bassett.
When asked about the pandemic and what strategies helped her persevere through these unprecedented times, Bassett responded, “In general, I found that self-awareness helped me persevere the most. While the world felt out of control, I turned to what I could control. I embraced work as a form of self-care. I also learned to stop apologizing for who I am as a lawyer and litigator. As women, we don’t have a one-size-fits-all solution. Self-care and work/life balance look very different to all of us. It’s important, in a pandemic situation or otherwise, to be self-aware and recognize what’s going to make you feel safe and secure, and it’s okay to do things that are the right fit even if they aren’t for other women.”
When asked what law firms should do to improve the advancement of women in the practice of law at a faster pace, Bassett responded, “The most recent report on the state of the legal market, from the Thomson Reuters Institute and Georgetown, looked at turnover rates and found that compensation does not produce loyalty. It’s the intangibles that have become so important for all young lawyers, but especially for women. Loyalty to a firm increases with opportunities for advancement. Associates are asking different questions: Am I getting a chance to prove myself? Are cases assigned equitably? Am I being mentored and/or sponsored? All of these things, while they can’t be measured by numbers, they can be communicated in the way we treat our newer colleagues.”