Manatt’s Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner Donna L. Wilson discussed her goals for the firm, the perspective she brings to her new role as CEO and managing partner, and the importance of grit and curiosity for professionals with Law360 in its Law Firm Leaders Q&A series.
Wilson noted that Manatt is an integrated professional services firm with professionals who can advise clients not only on legal matters, but also on strategic business and management consulting issues. “Other firms have experimented with this hybrid model over many years, but no one has done it to the degree and the success of Manatt,” Wilson told Law360. “Of our approximately 450 professionals across the country, around 150 consist of advisers, consultants, technologists and the like. And it’s fully integrated.”
When asked about being a working mother and a member of the LGBTQ community, Wilson said that although the word “diversity” is commonly used, she often thinks about inclusion and ensuring Manatt professionals not only feel engaged but that they also feel as though they are part of the firm and its future. “Diversity of background, whether it’s racially, socioeconomically, in terms of sexual or gender orientations, brings different perspectives,” Wilson said. “And I think those perspectives will become more and more valuable as our economy changes and our industries change, given the changes our clients are facing every day that we’re trying to help them with.”
Wilson also discussed why she believes both grit and curiosity are important traits for a professional to have. “How you bounce back from adversity and manage challenges is what separates people,” Wilson said. “You need to think about and be curious about the professional services firm of which you are a member, be curious about what is happening in the various industries your clients are operating in, and be curious about your clients and prospective clients,” she added.
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