Gina Anders is a Client Executive, at Ernst & Young LLP and serves as Southeast Regional Director for Women in eDiscovery. She joined the WBA last year and although she is currently involved in a committee or forum, she fully expects president-elect Candace Beck to reaching out soon with an assignment. We asked Gina to tell us a little about herself and she shared:

I graduated from American University Washington College of Law in 1997 (Yikes, am I really that old?!). I then spent a decade practicing in complex civil litigation, mostly contract disputes and insurance coverage cases. I liked litigation, but it didn’t afford much in the way of work-life balance, which was very important to me, so I left the practice to pursue a second career in business development. Building and enhancing relationships of trust – both in business and friendships — is something I love, so this career is well-suited to my strengths and preferences – and it offers a much better balance between work and the rest of my life!

I also serve as the Southeast Regional Director for Women in eDiscovery (WiE), an organization that is near and dear to my heart. I’m a founding member and have held various roles in the DC Chapter before taking on the role of leading the Southeast region. Through my involvement in WiE, I get to help provide education, thought leadership, mentoring and networking opportunities to women interested in the intersection of law and technology. I’ve made some of the best friendships of my life through WiE and thoroughly enjoy mentoring other women as they progress in similar careers.

I’m also a lover of animals and currently have three pets of my own – two dogs and one bunny. My two dogs are: Shaggy, an 8-year-old Golden Retriever who I affectionately refer to as “the dog ambassador” because he wins the hearts of many non-dog-lovers; and Daisy, a 3-year old black and white, short-haired mutt whom I rescued as a puppy and has the most sweet and endearing disposition of any dog I’ve ever had. (She is my fourth dog.) Snickerdoodle (“Snickey”) is a one-year-old Holland Lop who I rescued last March, and should win a cuteness award, in my humble (and clearly non-biased) opinion. He is my fourth bunny and is in the process of becoming a certified therapy bunny so I can take him to visit patients at the local hospitals and nursing homes. (I had done this with my first dog, Peanut, too and found it be incredibly rewarding.)

I also love ballroom dancing, particularly East Coast Swing and Lindy Hop, and have pursued this as a hobby on and off for about 25 years. I’ve recently found a new dance partner and resumed lessons at Arthur Murray and hope to progress enough to do competitions in the next few years.

Why did you join the Women’s Bar Association?
I’ve been involved in Women in eDiscovery since its founding in DC in 2007 and our organization has successfully collaborated with the WBA on a number of events. Although I no longer practice law and am instead in a business role, I believe very strongly in the idea of women supporting other women. I hope that my experience both in and outside of the practice of law can inform and help support the careers of other women through both organizations, and I know I will learn a ton from the many amazing women in the WBA who I’ve met so far. And now my dear friend Candace is the new President of the WBA! Who wouldn’t want to be a part of an organization led by such an amazing woman?!

What benefits do you get from being a part of the WBA and why do you think others should join?
I think the biggest benefit is simply the exposure to other woman in the legal industry in the DC area. We all need to connect and support one another, especially given that we’re in the middle of a global pandemic that seems intent on keeping us all isolated from one another.

How has being a parent enhanced your career?
I’m a stepmother of a lovely young woman named Elizabeth that I normally refer to as my daughter because, although I did not give birth to her, she is absolutely a daughter to me. She has taught me so much about the importance of family and maintaining a balance between work and the rest of your life. When she was very young, she ruled out being a lawyer, in part because she saw the long hours I worked and how stressful it was at times. That prompted me to resolve to bring more balance into my life, which I’ve admittedly still working on, but I’m getting better at it every day.

Do you have a mentor/hero?
My mom has always been my hero and greatest cheerleader. She worked full-time for as long as I can remember but it never seemed to take time away from me, my Dad or even our extended family. She made all my clothes when I was little, made most of our meals, kept the house clean, and even went back to school to earn her degree while I was in middle school. She consistently moved up in her company, where she had a successful 30+ year career, and she never missed any of my basketball or softball games, debate matches, church, or any other activity (of which there were many)! And she was always in for a fun shopping trip, party or family vacation, and somehow also managed to take good care of her aging parents and be a good wife to my dear dad. (I’m exhausted just thinking about it all!) I don’t know how she balanced everything, but she did a phenomenal job. Throughout it all, she always encouraged me and told me that I could do anything I wanted if I set my mind to it and worked hard.

What words of advice do you have for women new to the profession?
Same thing my mom said to me – you can do anything if you set your mind to it and work hard.

What is the best advice you have received?
There is so much – do I have to pick just one thing? Here’s my top two:

(1) Smart people don’t learn from their own mistakes; they learn from other people’s mistakes. So seek advice, mentorship and wise counsel from those who are being and doing what you want to be and do.

(2) Read . . . a lot! Never stop learning.

What other organizations are you involved in?
Women in eDiscovery and my church are the primary ones. I also tend to volunteer and donate a lot to help homeless pets and am in the process of getting my pet bunny certified as a therapy animal so we can visit the sick together in hospitals and nursing home