Over on Cal Law, Zusha Elinson has done an interesting profile of Judy O’Brien. While she’s now the general counsel for a startup whose ideas for cell-phone banking could make a huge difference to the developing world, she might be more notable in local legal circles as the first woman to make partner at Wilson Sonsini.
Presented here are some video extracts from Zusha’s interview as O’Brien discusses what it was like, in the early eighties, to write Wilson’s maternity leave policy there would be one in time for her to deliver her first child, and about how joining an all-boys club required her to learn to swear like the boys.
About 3:44 into it, she starts describing closing deals in Japan, maybe the only place where a female lawyer had even more of an uphill climb. And how many deals have you closed over pizza in your own kitchen? Then around the 7:50 mark, she offers advice — the lessons she learned forging a path 25 years ago. Unfortunately, the lessons do not include how to ever get a good night’s sleep.
This is the longest video we’ve ever done in connection with a story, but as a first-person account of a transitional time in the legal profession, we thought it was worth preserving.
— Brian McDonough