Profile in Women Leadership - Mary McCutcheon
Farella is proud to honor Women’s History Month. Our women lawyers and staff have imparted and continue to provide significant value in making Farella the firm it is today. To demonstrate this outsized impact, we have launched our inaugural Profile in Women Leadership honoring insurance partner Mary McCutcheon. In the following years, we will profile a different, significant woman at the firm as part of Women’s History Month.
What's one thing you know now that you wish you knew earlier in your career?
It’s okay not to know all the answers. We all succeeded in high school, college, and law school by being thoroughly prepared. We drew our confidence from knowing all the answers. In law, you have to be thoroughly prepared, but you will not know all of the answers—there may not even be answers. Draw your confidence not from knowing the answer to the problem, but from knowing that you have the experience and judgment to figure it out.
What's the biggest challenge that you have faced related to being a woman in the law?
Time! There aren’t enough hours in the day for my family, my practice, my colleagues, my community, my friends, myself…
What do you consider to be your greatest professional accomplishment so far, and what's one skill that helped you achieve it?
Helping to build a practice group that is kick-ass, thriving, diverse, and collaborative, and will be a force to reckon with long after I am no longer practicing. The skill? Besides being fortunate enough to hire great attorneys, I enjoy working with them on challenging matters, and introducing them to clients, referral sources, and opposing counsel.
During your career, how have things changed — or remained the same — for women partners in a law firm?
Being a “lady lawyer” is not as unusual as it was when I was a young attorney. Woman partners can be incredible sources of support not only with respect to internal firm politics but also business development.
What does it mean to be a woman leader in a corporate law firm in 2023?
Sometimes it means you are a voice for other women, making sure that their achievements are recognized and rewarded. But most of the time it means that you are running the business, just like any other partner.
What's one piece of advice you have for young women pursuing a law career today?
Show your enthusiasm for your work to the people you work with, other lawyers, friends, and contacts. People will want to work with you and give you work.