In what ways does being a woman influence you in your work?
I believe it helps me build successful, collaborative teams. I like to create strong connections with people, and I recognize the need for flexibility in work arrangements. I also encourage all team members to grow. In representing clients, I can show empathy and guide them through the litigation process to address their concerns and achieve the best outcomes.
How have your life experiences as a woman guided your decision to pursue a career in the legal field?
Did any women positively impact your decision? I was pursuing a social ecology degree in college, with the idea I would go into social work or teaching. I didn’t know any female lawyers until an externship at the county attorney’s office, where I met and worked with several women lawyers who were a great example to me. The experience made me believe there were no limits to what I could do and helped inspire me to go to law school to become a lawyer.
What female mentors have inspired or influenced you and in what ways?
There are two that stand out in my mind. The first was Justice Ruth McGregor (ret.), who I clerked for the year after law school. She was an excellent role model and taught me much about the practice of law and particularly being a young female lawyer in the litigation field. Another mentor was a managing attorney in the legal department of one of my clients, who inspired me to pursue my dream of owning and managing my own law firm, which I operated for almost 11 years before joining Tyson & Mendes.
Do you think it is important for women in this industry to prioritize supporting other women?
Absolutely! How do you show your support for other women? By giving them opportunities for growth. I do so by hiring female attorneys for my team, supporting and mentoring them, and providing opportunities for growth and advancement.
Do you have any advice for women just starting out in their legal careers?
I would advise them to be open to new experiences and take every opportunity to learn about the practice of law, even if it is outside of their current practice. Also, join legal, business, or community organizations that are of interest to you. You never know who you might meet who could turn out to be a mentor or a source of business during your career. And most importantly, take care of yourself! The practice of law can be stressful, so it is important to take care of yourself to avoid burnout.
Tell us about your law practice at Tyson & Mendes.
I handle a wide variety of general liability litigation cases, with a particular interest in insurance coverage and bad faith litigation and professional liability cases. I also spend time mentoring and training lawyers in the firm and serving in a leadership role as the Southwest Region Managing Partner.
What drew you to Tyson & Mendes?
Bob Tyson and Pat Mendes. I had been on my own for a few years after my former partner split off from our firm, and I missed having partners to talk with about cases and business in general. I had talked to a couple of national firms about opening an Arizona branch but never clicked with anyone. I knew when I first talked to Bob and Pat that I wanted to be part of Tyson & Mendes. Their vision for what this firm could be was exciting and inspiring to me.