I have been in the legal profession as a lawyer and consultant for more than four decades. I was one of the first people to specialize in lawyers’ professional development and retention and in advancing women into leadership. In recognition of my contributions, I have been elected a Fellow of both the American Bar Foundation, which honors the top 1% of lawyers who have promoted the highest principles and welfare of the legal profession, and the College of Law Practice Management.
Today, my practice focuses on the power of mentoring relationships to guide, support and transform professional careers from the beginning of practice through retirement. It is extremely gratifying, giving me a chance to work with lawyers, employers and professional organizations around the world. Although most of my work is in the law, my clients are in many industries, including health care, accounting, academia, management consulting, government and business.
Over the years, I have held leadership positions in numerous bar associations, women’s organizations, and professional associations in the US and internationally. I am currently Vice Chair of both the National Legal Mentoring Consortium and the California State Bar Mentoring Task Force, Advisor to Diversity Lab, Board Member of the Institute of Legal Talent and Leadership, and on the Editorial Board of Modern Legal Practice, a UK-based law and business journal. I am a Trusted Advisor to the Professional Development Consortium, of which I was a co-founder and former board member. I also co-Founded the Hastings Leadership Academy for Women at Hastings Law School, where I am a Faculty Fellow, and created Breakfasts for Champions, programs that promote gender equality by honoring men who act to advance women.
My volunteer work includes serving as a mentor in Law Without Walls, a collaborative, global law school program that accelerates innovation in legal education and practice. I am also on the Bay Area Advisory Board of Facing History and Ourselves, a global education organization that uses history to help students learn how to use knowledge and compassion to fight bigotry and hatred.
I am a frequent keynote speaker and presenter, and am the author of numerous books and publications, which you can find on this website.
I received my J.D. from Hastings College of the Law, M.A. from the University of Miami, and A.B. from Smith College.
Ida Abbott was the first person we turned to when we began to design our mentoring programs, and we relied on her from the early, conceptual stages all the way through the implementation and maintenance phases. We all read her book a million times and referred to it fondly as the “Mentoring Bible.” My copy of the book looks plenty worse for the wear—each page is heavily highlighted and my notes and comments appear in practically every margin. It’s so battered that I can’t even lend it out anymore, so we had to buy another copy for other members of the department to use!
-- Milana Rossi, Sullivan & Cromwell