Suzy Marinkovich is a litigation associate in MoFo’s San Diego office. Her practice focuses on product liability and commercial litigation. She has experience managing challenging cases from inception to mediation and trial.
What advice would you give to the next generation of women who want to pursue a career in the legal industry?
Although it’s challenging, working in law is stimulating and fulfilling in ways that other professions fall short. I’ve found it invaluable to have strong friendships with women who are also attorneys. As I learn to balance the challenges of a demanding caseload and motherhood, I’ve come to rely on those friends more than ever. Befriend your law school classmates and your attorney colleagues and try to break out of existing silos and be vulnerable as much as possible, because we excel when we feel supported by a community that can relate to us.
Tell us about a female role model in your life who inspires you. How has she played a part in the movement to achieve better balance for women?
My mom had four children while working as a physician in a male-dominated practice in the 1980s. Four kids! It was significantly harder back then than it is now. Leave benefits were non-existent, and hospital breast pumping accommodations consisted of a broom closet. I often find myself thinking of the struggles she faced and believing in myself a little more. My siblings and I have all thrived in our own professional careers, and I think we are proof that mothers who work outside the home are great for kids, too.
How do you try to influence, join the conversation, or take action to build a gender-balanced world?
I serve as an associate on MoFo’s Women’s Strategy Committee and chair WSC’s Work-Life Balance Committee. I have always been action-oriented and try to avoid letting a goal or initiative fall by the wayside for simple lack of follow-up. It is incumbent upon all of us — regardless of gender identity — to come up with ideas that better balance our workplace so that we can better serve our clients.
We have to share those ideas with one another. There is always the fear of being ignored or shot down but, in practice at MoFo and beyond, I’ve found that fear to be unfounded. Staying quiet feels easier in the short term, but progress only happens when we step out and affirmatively try to move the ball forward.
Read more Q&As from our global community of MoFo Women here.