Over the course of my 25-year career as a transactional attorney, I’ve developed an expertise representing clients in new media, as well as the cable television, telecommunications and outdoor advertising industries. As such, I’ve seen the creation and proliferation of multiple distribution channels for media and entertainment, including video streaming services (i.e. Netflix).
Because there are so many media outlets today, it has become increasingly more difficult for any one program to grab huge market share. That’s why the enormous ratings success of Roseanne Barr’s comeback came as a bit of a surprise to me. An estimated 25 million viewers tuned in to watch the sitcom’s debut after a 21-year hiatus.
In a recent interview, Roseanne was talking about her big break in 1985 when she performed stand-up comedy on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. She expressed gratitude for Johnny, and said that she still idolized him.
As time passes, I become more grateful for my training in Big Law, and for the guidance provided to me by the mentors I met there. Not only did I develop strong drafting skills through watching their conscientious use of “plain English,” but they also taught me great business habits that I maintain in my solo practice today. I hear these sentiments about mentoring in Big Law echoed by other solo practitioners who were lucky enough to be trained there.
Although they are mostly men, there are several women who inspire and mentor(ed) me, including Debra Forman. By way of example, there was opposing counsel on a financing transaction who offered me my first job in NYC, as well as the former corporate partner who went on to become general counsel, and then years later gave me my first in-house experience. And, the list goes on!
To this day, I continue to “go to” these mentors seeking guidance for everything from help with structuring deals, to best protecting my client’s interests, to solving questions of first impression, and answering my questions relating to client billing. I’m grateful that these career mentors still make themselves available to me, even though I no longer work for them, and in some cases, never did. They are my professional idols.
I appreciate the opportunities afforded to me by virtue of time spent in Big Law, but the most lasting and valuable aspect of my tenure there is the long-standing relationships I developed and have maintained with my mentors.
As Roseanne is grateful to Johnny Carson as her idol, I am grateful for my mentors, who have advised and supported me, and continue to provide me with guidance and valuable assistance.