Delivering “A+ legal services” to clients and ensuring a unified firm culture whose values reflect the firm’s commitment to attracting and retaining diverse talent are among topics that Shook, Hardy & Bacon Chair Madeleine McDonough discusses in an interview with Grow KC, a bimonthly publication of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.
“We identify emerging legal trends, figure out what the regulatory landscape is going to be, what the challenges are that our clients might face,” McDonough said in describing what sets apart Shook from its competitors. “Take data privacy, for instance. We’ve been on top of the issue before it was named, making sure our clients were taking the right precautions.”
Shook’s ability to employ the finest attorneys and professional staff, including ethnic minorities, LGBTQ individuals and women, by providing various workplace protections and benefits is important to McDonough. The firm hopes to achieve a top 100-percent rating on the Human Rights Campaign’s roster of “Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality” in 2017 for the 10th consecutive year.
“We want everyone to bring their best energy to work every day,” she said. “We want to recruit great lawyers, and our policies matter.”
McDonough notes that while Shook’s efforts to integrate women into leadership roles have been more successful than those of many of its peers, the firm still has “a ways to go.” She counsels women lawyers to “Work hard and smart—foster relationships. Ask people to invest in you, to work with you, to be a true mentor.”
McDonough began a five-year term as Chair of Shook, Hardy & Bacon on January 1, 2017. A former clinical pharmacist, she focuses her practice on representing multinational companies in the pharmaceutical, animal health, medical device, food, cosmetics, and beverage industries.