Insight on BigLaw Leadership From Shook Chair Madeleine McDonough for Law360

Law360 released its annual Glass Ceiling report and while the results show promise, there are distinct challenges that need to be resolved for law firms to create parity among employees. The survey found incremental changes in the number of women partners, but noted that only a handful of the largest U.S. firm are led by women.

As part of the report’s expert analysis, Law360 highlighted the perspective of forward-thinking women in law, including Shook, Hardy & Bacon Chair Madeleine McDonough. When McDonough took the reins in January 2017, she committed the firm to interrupting implicit bias and fostering cultural competence “in meaningful – and measurable – ways.”  A former clinical pharmacist, she represents multinational companies in a range of industries: pharmaceutical, animal health, medical device, food, cosmetic and beverage.

“At Shook, we have revamped our succession planning and compensation systems to try to resolve these inequities,” explains McDonough, who describes how Shook is proactively leading the charge to create a culture that benefits the firm for all employees, which ultimately benefits clients. “We train our leaders and relationship partners not only to be cognizant of these blind spots within the organization, but to proactively address them by partnering with clients to get a 360-degree view of our own performance.”