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Hear from the women of Chartwell Law: What guidance on navigating the legal profession as a woman would you offer to your younger self?

Chartwell Law attorneys share their views on the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in their personal and professional lives.


In celebration of Women's History Month, we are excited to amplify the voices of the women at Chartwell Law. Check back throughout the month for more insights and perspectives from our female attorneys.

This week, we hear from Karen Karabinos, Hyezhin Rhee, and Leslie Whitten, who answered the thought-provoking question: What guidance on navigating the legal profession as a woman would you offer to your younger self?

Karen Karabinos (Atlanta, GA): Interview and build your own circle of trust consisting of mentors and sponsors who will help you navigate your path in the legal profession. A mentor is someone who shares knowledge and provides guidance, but a sponsor is someone who actively promotes your growth, provides access to opportunities at work and/or advocates your career advancement. I wish I had known about sponsors early in my career. While mentors talk with you and help you figure out what is next, a sponsor is someone who talks about you when you are not in the room. A sponsor has the power to directly intervene on your behalf. Consider the mentors and sponsors your own personal Board of Directors and hold open and honest conversations about key decisions regarding your career.

Hyezhin Rhee (New York, NY): Do not be afraid to seek help from those around you and do not be afraid to ask questions. The stronger foundation you can create with wise and caring mentors, the more confident you will get. Spirit matters and you need someone there to boost your spirit at times. And as one of my first and everlasting mentor used to tell me: "Don't be afraid and don't forget who taught you.

Leslie Whitten (Charleston, SC): Don't worry too much about living up to what other people expect you to be, and don't worry at all about whether other people like you. At the same time, a good mentor who shares your values can help you become the best version of yourself. Take the lessons from those who excel at what they do while still treating every single other person with empathy and dignity. Leave behind any lessons that don't fall into these categories, without guilt or anxiety.