I have known Ida for well over 30 years as a friend and colleague and have always valued her opinion and enjoyed her company. In the last few years, however, I have gotten to know Ida in her role as an advisor and counselor on issues relating to women’s advancement and retention and on career transitions. Her insight and skill in these roles is nearly unequaled by others’. She is wise and listens carefully and without judgment. She does not hesitate to call things as she sees them but does so in a supportive way. Her knowledge about professional service firms is very current and she possesses a great breadth of experience she can draw upon.
-- Meryl Macklin, Partner, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
Ida is an accomplished expert focusing on the professional development of legal talent in law firms. She partnered with me at my previous firm to launch a more robust associate mentoring program. Ida stays abreast of the many changes and challenges in the legal workplace and shares her thoughts and findings willingly with others. In addition, Ida should be commended for the many contributions she has made to the advancement of women in the legal profession.
-- Kari Jensen Thomas, Past President of Minnesota Women Lawyers and Manager of Alumni Relations at Faegre Baker Daniels
Based on her inside knowledge of how law firms and the legal industry works, Ida can bring out the best in an organization. Ida spent the time to get to know our law firm and our people and worked closely with us to develop a program we could roll out nationally to challenge men to champion women in our workplace. Her work has had long-reaching effects, inspiring our attorneys to develop their own programs long after her presentation.
As a public speaker, Ida is poised and her voice is powerful and reflects her experience as a senior lawyer and a coach. The ideas she brought in her interactive presentations have changed our firm’s vocabulary around inclusion and our belief in what we are capable of accomplishing.
-- Brian Wong, Executive Partner for Diversity and Inclusion, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
I was a litigator and trial attorney for 34 years, most recently as a partner with McDermott Will & Emery in its Silicon Valley office. I now train and coach lawyers. Ida was instrumental in helping me chart my post-law-practice career plan and with identifying, addressing, and navigating important transition issues. Her sage guidance derives from years of helping and guiding lawyers and from her deep understanding and knowledge of the legal services industry. I highly recommend Ida for any lawyer contemplating or in the process of ending his/her law practice and transitioning to a new chapter. Her assistance will prove invaluable.
-- Dave Dolkas, formerly with McDermott Will & Emery, now Dave Dolkas Teaching and Coaching
I have listened to Ida speak, as well as participating in a webinar with her. Despite my career-long interest in mentoring and attorney development, each time she offered perspectives I had not previously considered, particularly with respect to the issues that young women attorneys face. Anyone considering implementing or upgrading a program within their organization would find her input invaluable.
-- R. Danny Huntington, Rothwell, Figg, Ernst & Manbeck P.C.
Ida was a strategic thinker and intentional about how women can be serious professionals and mothers long before it was fashionable. She was both pragmatic and progressive, about as difficult a balance as work and motherhood sometimes can be. Well grounded in both her career and her family, she was still available to younger women, like myself, coming into the legal profession. I found her an ideal mentor and model when I first began practice in San Francisco many years ago and I am delighted to find that her long experience and wisdom is now available to so many more women through her books, programs and consulting practice.
-- Cheryl Poinsette Brown
Ida was instrumental in helping our firm develop and implement a mentorship program, which has now become integrated as part of our associate development process and has proven its value to the partnership. Personally, as the co-coordinator of the program I have found my involvement to be very rewarding. We appreciate all of Ida’s assistance in developing this important piece of our associate development program.
-- Stuart Chambers, McLennan Ross LLP
It was an absolute pleasure to work with Ida at the International Bar Association conference in Buenos Aires this year. As session Chair, she created a relaxed atmosphere in which all the participants were excited to participate in the activities we had planned for them. In her own presentation she imparted a wealth of information and ideas about setting up and developing training programs in law firms, based on her own extensive experience. I highly recommend Ida as a conference speaker.
-- Shelley Dunstone, Owner, Legal Circles
-- J. Kelly Hoey, Author of Build Your Dream Network
Ida is an avid and passionate writer and spokesperson on leadership, talent development and retention in the legal profession. Ida’s guidance, mentorship and friendship over the years have been invaluable to me in both my professional and personal life. Ida comes highly recommended.
-- Julie Schaffner, General Counsel for a multinational company in Hong Kong
It was an honor to work with Ida in her role as Director of the Hastings Leadership Academy for Women (an executive education program for women law firm partners sponsored by The Project for Attorney Retention and The Center for WorkLife Law at Hastings College of the Law). Ida’s extensive experience and meticulous attention to detail ensured the program was right on point, offering the knowledge and skills participants need to enhance their ability to succeed in leadership roles. Her deep concern for their individual development made it a life changing experience for participants.
-- Carol Frohlinger, Negotiating Women, Inc.
Ida was the keynote presenter and the facilitator for Holland & Hart’s Women’s Forum, which included almost 100 of our women attorneys, as well as many men who are actively involved in the leadership of the firm. Ida did a great job of engaging the men in the audience, as well as all of the women, who are at very different stages in their lives and careers. Her presentation was factual and very down-to-earth, and while she was clear on the hard facts of where women stand in our profession, she avoided the judgmental tone that would have made the men in the room stop listening immediately. Her skills as the facilitator of our group discussions helped us to focus on a list of next steps and action items. It was an empowering day for many of the women who participated, and Ida played a large role in making that happen.
-- Liz Sharrer, Holland & Hart
Stroock owes its successful mentoring program in large part to Ida Abbott. She was so generous with her time in consulting with us during the organizing process. And then she ran an extremely popular seminar, sensitizing both mentors and mentees as to the overall goals of the program, and the details of how to make the relationship work.
-- Burt Lipshie, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan
Ida has a sharp and intuitive sense of lawyer workplace communication realities, and effectively zeroes in on the core issues. She understands the unique challenges of developing and advancing women lawyers to leadership positions in their firms.
-- Cynthia R. Rowland, former partner at Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass LLP
Without hesitation, I entrusted Ida with my mentoring and talent development needs at a large international firm and a smaller NY-based firm. Due to her broad depth of knowledge, she helped me roll out programs that were well received, have ongoing benefits and continue to grow with the needs of our attorneys. Ida understands the nature of law firms; she listens to us, hears what is unique to our firm, and works with us to tailor programs that succeed in our firm. Whenever I talk to Ida, she has a new, exciting idea on her mind.
-- Danielle Fredericks
Ida not only has an encyclopedic knowledge of lawyers’ professional development. She provides practical advice about how to apply that knowledge on the job, work more effectively with everyone from entry-level associates to managing partners, and help professional development programs add the most value to their firms.
-- Anthony Grumbach, Farella Braun + Martel
Ida Abbott is the Dean of the College of Lawyer Professional Development. Our firm engaged her to advise us when we undertook to upgrade from a training function to full-scale professional development. Ida was patient, accommodating, pleasant to work with, and super-knowledgeable about all aspects of our needs. I recommend Ida absolutely unqualifiedly.
-- Jon Lowe (Retired), Alston & Bird
Ida helped an audience of women with both legal and business backgrounds to study advancements into leadership positions, including identifying personal priorities, exploring different paths to leadership, and developing a plan to assist with leadership goals. It was a lively, interactive event, where people with different personalities and leadership styles were encouraged to create their own leadership plan.
-- Licia Vaughan, DLA Piper
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
We worked with Ida to develop and implement our Women’s Mentoring Group program. Ida provided us with invaluable insights and suggestions and delivered a very effective training to all participants. As we ran into challenges with our program along the way, Ida helped us think through different options and gave much-appreciated advice and inspiration. The program has been very effective in meeting our goals and is a great source of support for our women attorneys. We have Ida to thank for much of its success!
-- Jennifer L. Rakstad, Mayer Brown
In our work together over the years I have always found that Ida brings good insights and perspectives and has very clear and useful ideas. She is excellent to work with and there is always good value from the experience from all perspectives: participant learning and insights as well as cost/benefit.
-- Ralph Pais, Fenwick & West