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Young Lawyers Reveal How They Made Partner in a Pandemic, Part 2

March 29, 2021, 9:30 AM

In the second part of our series on how new law firm partners rose to the challenges of 2020 to make partner, we hear from one New York partner who flew across the country to become a new parent in the middle of the pandemic. And others share how they drew perspective and purpose from challenging circumstances in cities that range from Minneapolis to Madrid.

Jared Stanisci, a New York City-based litigation partner with Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, writes about welcoming a new baby as he was on the path to becoming a partner. “In early February, we got a call that our son was arriving over a month early and that we had to get to our surrogate in Oregon immediately to be present for the birth. Two weeks later, we boarded a Portland to New York flight, suddenly a family of three acutely aware of germs because of a certain contagious virus that had recently arrived in Washington state and was moving into Oregon,” he said.

Stanisci and his husband adjusted to becoming new parents right as Covid-19 was spreading and sending lawyers home to work remotely.

For Jones Day partner Dotun Obadina, an M&A partner based on Minneapolis, starting legal practice during the Great Recession gave him the tools and perspective needed to face the challenges of 2020 head on. “Every challenge in a person’s professional career provides experiences that help in dealing with the next challenge. The lessons learned from my perspective-altering experiences of the Great Recession buoyed me through the end of the partnership promotion process during a pandemic. I trust that the lessons learned from Covid-19 will help me in dealing with the next challenge,” he said.

Meanwhile, in Madrid, Hogan Lovell’s Inmaculada Lorenzo, an IP partner, coped with severe restrictions from the Covid-19 pandemic which hit Spain early and hard. “One aspect that impressed me the most during the pandemic was how quickly one can adapt to drastic changes in life. I am certain that this resilience will help us not only to navigate through the pandemic and ongoing challenges but prove to be a useful skill allowing lawyers to adapt to the continuous changing environment of the legal profession,” she said.

And in San Francisco, Dechert mass tort and products liability partner Jonathan Tam turned a slowdown in his practice into a chance to use his talents in pro bono litigation on behalf of incarcerated persons seeking to stop the spread of Covid-19 in the state prison system and mentoring fellow Asian American attorneys.

He also recalls, with candor, the quandary he faced leading up to the partnership, “I also began to question whether it was selfish, and frankly tone deaf, for me to pursue and advocate for a promotion with everything going on in the world. But I had worked very hard my entire career to get to this point and I was not going to let the uncertainty of the pandemic undermine or overshadow my years of hard work and dedication.”

Click on the new partners’ names below to read their stories.

Join us again on April 12 for our third installment of “Making Partner in a Pandemic.” And if you want to check out the first part of the series again, you can find it here. Thanks for reading.

MP McQueen also contributed to this story.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lisa Helem at