Amy Conway-Hatcher is a Partner with Schertler Onorato Mead & Sears, a boutique law firm in Washington, D.C. whose team of prominent lawyers handle a wide range of high-profile complex legal, business and reputational matters. Amy is the kind of lawyer who solves hard problems (the kind people don’t want you to know about like bribery, fraud and harassment) and keeps your name out of the media headlines. She is the first woman Special Counsel for the Commission on Judicial Disabilities & Tenure in Washington, DC and serves as a director on the Board of the Women’s Bar Association Foundation. Amy is the author of “Turning Point,” a non-fiction book about why senior women leave big jobs and how leaders lose them. It’s about hard lessons, impossible choices, silver linings, and the relaunch of a high-powered, rebel career mom.
When did you join?
A long, long time ago…..!
What committees/forums have you been involved in?
I’ve been a Director on the Board of the Woman’s Bar Association Foundation for the past two years. Prior to that, I attended WBA conferences and events.
Why did you join the Women’s Bar Association?
I joined WBA to connect with women peers and offer mentorship to younger women lawyers.
What benefits do you get from being a part of the WBA and why do you think others should join?
It is always helpful for women to connect with other women to support each other in career development, pursuing opportunities, addressing challenges in the legal profession and life, creating business connections and sponsorship. This is even more important as we are returning from the pandemic and on the cusp of changes in the legal industry. The business and the profession are facing great challenges, evolution and opportunities in the years to come. We have a greater voice together than alone! WBA offers great programs and opportunities to connect. Its leadership team is savvy in outreach and programming. It is a tremendous group and worth everyone’s time and investment.
How has being a parent enhanced your career?
If it were not for my kids, I think I would have worked myself to death!!::)) They add a spice to my life, warmth for my soul, aches to my head and more. They challenge me, support me, drive me crazy, love me, and were pivotal in re-grounding me in my mission, purpose and life. Navigating the working mom gig has been one of the greatest challenges of my life. It also is what humbles me and keeps me grounded – every day. My ability to connect with people on a human level and my career, wherever it goes, will forever be enriched by my experiences as a mom.
Do you have a mentor/hero?
I have many friends I’d consider a mentor/hero. It’s hard to name just one. Leading of the pack of these trailblazers and powerhouse women is my own Mom. She started in nursing and became a teacher, mom, artist, lawyer, mediator, grandmother, world traveler, and photographer (in that order). She’s the ultimate master in the art of pivoting. She has always worked hard and plays hard, pursuing her passions every chance she gets.
What words of advice do you have for women new to the profession?
Wow, this is hard. My brain is swirling! In a nutshell, I would offer these four basic ideas:
- Build your experience bucket early and often. Use every opportunity you can to learn.
- Keep track of what invigorates you and what drains you so that you proactively make career progression decisions that work for you – both the career you want to build and the life you want to live.
- Proactively seek out both peers and others senior to you to build your relationships and contacts both inside and outside your place of employment. Chances are that you won’t stay in the same job forever so make sure you keep you name out there and your options open. You are the owner of your career. You are the leader of you.
- Breathe. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Make sure you take time to take care of yourself. This is something I didn’t always do but, in hindsight, I wish I had paid more attention to.
What is the best advice you have received?
Don’t take no for an answer. If you have a goal, go for it!
What other organizations are you involved in?
Chief (private networking group for women executives), Women’s Bar Association Foundation Board of Directors, BoardNext of Women Corporate Directors (WCD), National Association of Corporate Directors, National Charity League, Women’s White Collar Defense Association, Association of Assistant U.S. Attorneys for Washington, DC.