Active in a number of charitable
and civic organizations, she also
participates on the boards of the
Louisiana Chapter of IWIRC and a
young attorneys’ association. At the
firm, she serves as a committee chair
for the Women’s Initiative Team, which
promotes women’s development
and awareness of women’s issues.
Q How did you gravitate into turnaround/restructuring work?
There was this
opportunity at Adams and Reese when I
was moving back from California, where
I’d been living for a few years and
practicing law. I wanted to come back to
Adams and Reese because I had done a
summer clerkship here, so I talked to a
few people and this position in the
Bankruptcy & Restructuring Group was
available. I pretty much took it because it
was such a great firm. I knew people
here, and I just really enjoyed working
here when I had spent time here before.
I did have other options, but I did want
to do something more challenging,
a practice that would keep me on
my toes. So I chose this, and I’m
very happy with my decision.
Q How long have you been working there now?
I started with Adams and
Reese in the Bankruptcy & Restructuring
Group in 2010, so a long time for me.
Q So you started at kind of a difficult ime in the field.
This is true. One thing
that I did was to get involved in as much
bankruptcy and reorganization work and
restructuring work as I could, but I also
diversified my practice too, because we
didn’t know what was going to happen at
that point. I did some litigation, some IP
work, and a bunch of transactional work,
which I think was a good move, to
develop different skills so I could roll with
the times, as they say.
Q Who inspires you professionally or personally? Have you had any
mentors along the way?
I feel very inspired by the
female attorneys that I’ve worked with
throughout my career. One person
would be Alexis Coll-Very at Simpson
Thatcher & Bartlett in Palo Alto,
California. She’s just an amazing woman.
She has kids and a family, and she’s still a
partner at one of the top law firms in the
country. I was really sad to leave there
because I loved working with her, and I
still keep in touch with her. She’s very
inspirational to me.
There are some really great women
attorneys here at Adams and Reese.
Lisa Hedrick and Janis van Meerveld
have been very inspirational to me.
They have families and vibrant careers
and good attitudes while doing it all.
I would say those three women have
really inspired me and kept me rolling
with the punches through my career.
Q If you could start your career over, would you do anything differently?
Hindsight is always
20/20, but I don’t think so. I grew up in
New Orleans. I went to law school here. I
was kind of torn about moving away and
coming back. I don’t regret for a minute
moving away and having that
experience and then coming back here. I
think I made the best decision with the
law firm where I am. I’m really happy.
Q What took you to California? Was it he job, or did you have other ties
to the state?
No, not really. Just the
job. I wanted to get away for a little while
and experience a little different kind of
life and a different career path. I moved
to Palo Alto in 2007, and I was there until
I moved back here in January 2010.
Q What have been some of your favorite, most gratifying, or
important engagements along the way?
The most gratifying
projects I’ve worked on are those in
which you have a relationship with the
client, and they’re a person who is really
invested in what is going on. You can
talk to them and they have emotions
about it. I feel that I’ve really championed
for them. I’ve really won it for them
personally, and it means a lot to them.
Most recently, I’ve been working for
a client on a [U.S. Bankruptcy Code]
Section 303(i) motion for damages and
attorneys’ fees in relation to the improper
filing of an involuntary bankruptcy
petition. It’s been very gratifying to work
with him and speak to him and to get all
of these victories for him personally. I
also worked on another bankruptcy that
was in Alabama. It was a Chapter 11
individual bankruptcy that I worked
on for a few years. We had some
aggressive dealings in an adversary
proceeding with the government.
Sometimes it just got very stressful, but
it was really rewarding to work with
him and prevail in that case for him.
Q What role has your TMA membership played in your career?
I think I was at another
conference, and someone at that
conference told me and another attorney
from my firm that we should join TMA,
so we did. I didn’t really get involved until
I’d been practicing in this field for a
while. It’s really increased my network
and given me a lot more opportunities to
network on a national level. So much of
the restructuring field is about clients
who are not necessarily located where I
am. A lot of my clients—I’d say most of
my clients—are not located in New
Orleans, so I’ve got referral work. I’ve
served for local counsel in a number of
representations that have been referrals
from other TMA members, so it’s really
helped in networking and creating a
bigger network for me,
Q You’ve gotten involved in NextGen, too, right?
Yes, just recently.
Q How have you found that experience?
We just started the group
here in Louisiana. We had our first
networking reception a few weeks ago.
It went great. We had such a good
turnout. It is a little bit less intimidating
of an environment to network in,
because it’s people who are around my
age who have a similar amount of
experience as I do. They’re good
relationships to build because while they
may not be giving me work now, as we
progress in our careers, we’ll have that
relationship, and the need will most
likely arise at some point.
Q What advice would you give to someone who’s new to the industry
or thinking about getting into it?
Just from my own
experience, if someone was telling me
they wanted to get into this field, I would
also tell them not to pigeonhole
themselves, to diversify. Within
bankruptcy and reorganization, you run
the gamut of legal issues you’re going to