Anne Kennedy – Pallett Valo Women Leadership Interview

Anne KennedyTell us about your position at Pallett Valo

I am the Deputy Managing Partner of the firm as well as the Risk Management Partner.  I am also a member of the Commercial Litigation, Estate Litigation and ADR practice areas.  As the DMP I am member of the firm’s executive and management committee. I provide support to our Managing Partner and take on special projects identified in our strategic plan.

Please highlight some of your biggest achievements/accomplishments within your legal career and why this is so important to you

I would say that becoming a partner in 1994, as one of the first women to be made a partner of the firm together with my partner Anna Esposito, and at a time when female partners were very scarce in our profession, was one of my first and remains one of my happiest achievements. I became involved in managing the firm even before I was a partner and became the firm’s first female managing partner in 1997, again, at a time when there were few women partners, let alone women managing partners. Although this is seen as an accomplishment of mine, I think it mainly reflects what a progressive and supportive group of partners I had and continue to have.  I have been involved in management of the firm in one role or another, since that time and have been lucky enough over my career here, to see the firm triple in size and take on increasingly complex and challenging work.

Do you have any advice for female professionals who are in, or are looking to work in, a management or leadership role?

If you want to succeed in management or in a leadership role in your firm you should treat the firm like the important client that it is. First, learn about the business.  Professional service firms are unique because their success relies so heavily on the expertise and drive of their professionals. Second, treat management tasks with the same priority and dedication to excellent client service that you demonstrate in your legal practice. And finally, listen to the people who work for the firm, treat them with respect and empathy and engage as many as you can in understanding what it takes for the firm to succeed.