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Official Magazine of the Denver Bar Association

10 Questions with Colorado Women’s Bar Association President Jessica Brown

1. Why did you become a lawyer?
I wanted to be a lawyer from such a young age — before I even understood what a lawyer was. Not sure how I knew it would be such a good fit for me. I got lucky!

2. Do you believe there is a glass ceiling for women in the legal profession?
Women can and do reach the highest positions in their organizations — albeit at a much lower rate than men. I think we can achieve anything we set out to accomplish, and I tell my daughters that all the time. But women face challenges that make it more difficult for them to reach the top. You see this reflected in the small number of female CEOs and managing partners. The legal profession must remain steadfast in its focus on this leadership gap.

3. What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given as a female attorney?
When I was a young lawyer in 1995, a male partner mentor suggested that I try to adopt the calm, confident demeanor of the young female doctor in Father of the Bride Part 2. It was good advice — rent it!

4. What is your biggest pet peeve?
I had to ask my husband to come up with one for me, and he nailed it: loud commercials.

5. Who is your favorite literary heroine and why?
That’s easy: Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice. I’m a hopeless romantic.

6. What are some of your goals for 2016?
One is to have a very successful 39th Annual CWBA Convention at the Sebastian Hotel in Vail (May 20-22). We’ve secured our best speaker lineup ever, including Kathy Ruemmler, former White House Counsel to President Obama; Mary LoVerde, international speaker and author on work-life integration; Ashlie Beringer, my former partner, now Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for Facebook; and Dana Bolger, co-founder of Know Your IX and recognized by Politico as one of the top influencers of 2015 — she’s also my half-sister!

7. How do you de-stress?
Pilates, walk ‘n’ talks, game night.

8. What is your favorite travel destination?
My husband and I have had amazing times in Thailand, St. John, New York City, Big Sur, Maui … but there are so many places we haven’t been yet and are excited to go.

9. If you could go back in time, where would you go?
Pemberley (but for the fact that it doesn’t really exist!); see my answer to question 5.

10. If you weren’t a lawyer, you’d be:
A law school Dean of Admissions or Alumni Relations? A speaker and consultant on gender-related topics? Or some role where I’m working with and managing teams. Working collaboratively with great people is one of my favorite aspects of my current job — and my role as CWBA President.

More about you:
From: New York.
Lives in: Denver.
Lives with: Husband Chris, daughter Hadley (9) and daughter Tatum (5).
Works at: Gibson Dunn — for 21 years!
Practices in: Labor and Employment; Class Actions.
Law School: University of Texas School of Law, Austin. D

Editor’s Note: Do you know a DBA member who should be featured? Email nominations to Jessica Volz at jvolz@cobar.org.

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