Editors’ Note: As part of our ongoing Diversity and Inclusion Spotlight series, Jamis Barcott, a 2L at UCLA School of Law, and Gina Banks, a 3L at Cornell Law School, interviewed Los Angeles partner Tritia Murata. In the excerpt below, Tritia, who is a member of our Employment & Labor Group, discusses how she balances work with life outside of MoFo and the importance of challenging yourself.
Jamis: If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to yourself as a summer associate?
Tritia: Not to stress out so much. Do your work, work hard, and everything will work out.
I would also tell myself that it is never too early to start building your network. All of you are in control of your own personal networks. Take time to invest in relationships around you, including your colleagues and classmates. The people around you will become general counsel of companies someday.
Gina: How did you position yourself to become partner?
Tritia: It started with having really amazing sponsors who helped guide me and position myself in my practice group. I was able to work with influential partners, and in return a positive buzz was generated about me. Make sure to work with people who are willing and able to say great things about you.
I also actively participated on committees, and that is another way to get your name out there. I worked on the Women’s Strategy Committee and I was able to interact with associates and partners in different offices. Serving on the committee gave me an opportunity to contribute to something I was passionate about.
I did things to raise my profile internally and externally. I said “yes” to speaking engagements, even when it made me nervous to speak in front of a lot of people. I wrote articles. I also attended our diversity workshops, which take place every other year.
Gina: How do you balance your life at MoFo with your life outside of the office?
Tritia: Working a reduced-hours schedule allowed me to manage expectations at work and have more time with my family at home.
One of my mentors gave me a great piece of advice. If I’m working on a memo at 10 p.m. on a Friday night, she encouraged me to take a step back and think about whether or not the memo can wait until the morning. Of course, that may not always be the case. Sometimes, things absolutely have to get done. We often have so many deadlines forced upon us by supervising partners or clients. We don’t need to force false deadlines on ourselves as well.
It is important not to create stress for yourself.
Jamis: Do you have any final comments, thoughts, or advice you’d like to share?
Tritia: I encourage all of you to say “yes” to things that scare you and challenge you. I think it is very easy to say “no, I’m not ready for that” or “no, I’ve never done that before,” but you can do it.
If you want to take that deposition, ask for it. The worst that can happen is someone saying, “Why don’t you shadow me this time?”
Make your goals and ambitions known. That makes it easier for us to help you get the opportunities that you want for yourself.
Make sure you take care of yourself. Being a big law lawyer is a very demanding job. When things are a bit slow, take the weekend off. Watch your health. There is only one you and you have to take care of yourself.
Also, remember you all deserve to be here. When I was a summer and junior associate, I always felt like they made a mistake and someone would find out I didn’t belong here. As time goes on, you’ll build your confidence and you’ll realize you are awesome and definitely deserve to be where you are.