Kelly Noonan Featured in Article and Panel on Women Professionals

Mar 06, 2018

Stokes Lawrence Managing Shareholder Kelly Twiss Noonan was recently featured in an article focused on women managing partners that appeared in the King County Bar Association’s Bar Bulletin (subscription required). The article, “Women Lawyers Making History” provided Q&A with women from some of the largest firms in Washington. Participants were asked about the challenges they face managing a law firm in today’s legal and economic environment.

“The biggest challenge is also what I find most rewarding (and most important to the success of any business), which is to cultivate and maintain a culture consistent with our values while being aware of the external influences that are constantly changing. In other words, making sure we are who we say we are and that everyone in the firm is pulling our oars in the same direction,” Kelly stated.

When asked about the recent growth in the Seattle area and trends in the legal industry, Kelly noted that she saw opportunities for women lawyers in both circumstances.

“I believe the Puget Sound area has made progress in gender equity in the legal industry,” she said. “Though far from perfect, I believe it is easier in Seattle than in certain other parts of the country to be a successful female attorney.”

She added that Stokes Lawrence has a long history of having a strong, female-lawyer presence. Currently, more than half of the attorneys at the firm are women.

“We are really proud of cultivating a culture where both women and men can successfully pursue fulfilling legal careers,” she added.

Kelly also served as a panelist during the Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) February program “Trailblazers in Gender Parity.”

The discussion covered topics of implicit bias, men’s role in gender equity, women in leadership and other challenges women face throughout their career. Kelly noted Stokes Lawrence’s gender parity during the discussion. Ten out of 21 partners, and 24 out of 45 total lawyers are women. She again noted that the firm’s culture plays a big part in the firm’s success, which includes a family leave policy open to everyone in the firm. Taking time to care for a new child or sick parent becomes an accepted option for everyone regardless of gender.

Responding to the general topic of achieving gender parity, she advised, “Women need to mentor men too.”