34 episodes

Discover a league of extraordinary women in the legal profession with the Heels of Justice podcast and hosts Sarita Venkat and Katherine Minarik. Each episode, Heels of Justice will share the trailblazing story of a woman lawyer, some you've heard of and many you have not. These are the tales of fierce advocates in government and politics, in courtrooms and boardrooms, women who get deals done and pave the way for the rest of us. Join us as we learn a bit about the law and a lot about how one woman can make all the difference.

Heels of Justice Sarita Venkat & Katherine Minarik

    • Business
    • 4.9 • 68 Ratings

Discover a league of extraordinary women in the legal profession with the Heels of Justice podcast and hosts Sarita Venkat and Katherine Minarik. Each episode, Heels of Justice will share the trailblazing story of a woman lawyer, some you've heard of and many you have not. These are the tales of fierce advocates in government and politics, in courtrooms and boardrooms, women who get deals done and pave the way for the rest of us. Join us as we learn a bit about the law and a lot about how one woman can make all the difference.

    Mini Episode

    Mini Episode

    Katherine and Sarita discuss the highlights from the first three amazing guests of the season.

    • 13 min
    The Mother's Day Episode

    The Mother's Day Episode

    Sarita and Katherine share their appreciation for the lawyer mom wisdom of past HOJ guests and some lawyer mom tales of their own. Happy Mother's Day!

    • 20 min
    Party of One, Silicon Valley GC, Rolling with the Punches

    Party of One, Silicon Valley GC, Rolling with the Punches

    Welcome to Heels of Justice; these are the stories of women lawyers who are trailblazers in their field and paved the way for the rest of us.
     
    Today, The Heels of Justice welcome Kristin Sverchek, General Counsel for Lyft. She is an award-winning lawyer with an incredible career. She shares a wealth of tips and advice from hiring to juggling time, motherhood, and big egos.
     
    Kristin Sverchek has led Lyft’s legal team and strategy as General Counsel since November 2012. In that time, she has helped Lyft grow from a private to a public company and an IPO and currently leads a legal team of more than 130 people. Kristin started her career working in private practice as a corporate transactional lawyer at both Gunderson Dettmer and Silicon Legal Strategy before going in-house at Lyft in 2012. Sverchek majored in Molecular and Cell Biology at UC Berkeley, graduating in 2004. She received her law degree in 2007 from UC Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco.
     
    Key Takeaways
    [1:07] Sarita welcomes Kristin Sverchek to the Heels of Justice and asks her to talk about herself, where she grew up, how she came to law from an undergrad in molecular and cell biology.
    [4:01] Kristin touches on how the scientific thought process and that of law are similar in their rational linearity.
    [5:37] From law school to becoming the GC of Lyft, Kristin walks us through losing her first job and joining a small silicon valley corporate transactional practice where she met the Lyft founders.
    [9:55] Kristin speaks to the insecurities of becoming a GC so soon out of law school and why she decided to go for it! She also breaks down the reasons why she thinks she got the job. (Tune in for tips!)
    [12:26] What kinds of surprises does the GC position hold? Kristen shares a few times her position revealed the differences between in-house and outside counsel.
    [15:52] What makes Lyft, Lyft?
    [17:04] Going from being a one-woman legal team to having a team of about 130 people is a challenge; Kristin shares some pointers!
    [19:07] How do you hire for a successful startup, from private to public and IPO? Finding agile candidates goes by way of how they handle their own mistakes.
    [22:02] Diversity and inclusion at Lyft are very intentional — Kristin shares how her initial insecurities turned into hiring practice.
    [24:07] Kristin put together the parental leave policy at Lyft and how it evolved during her own maternity leave!
    [27:50] Employee growth is now part of company culture and it started with the first people Kristin hired who got a ton of executive exposure and aligns with the legal team’s specific vision, mission, and values.
    [30:21] Kristin speaks to the challenges she has faced in her career both as a woman and as a GC.
    [32:32] What time management skills is Kristin hiding!? It just maybe, in part thanks to Tom.
    [35:22] Thinking long-term can prevent burnout, Kristin talks about the written advice she’s been sharing. She shares what her own long-term vision is.
    [38:15] Big egos are run of the mill in the tech industry, Kristin shares how she chooses to interact (or not) with those individuals.
    [40:39] Kristin advocates for herself in a few ways but the trap she chooses to avoid is misunderstanding: be very clear about what you do, want, need, and expect. She shares an example.
    [43:40] Kristin and her husband carpool every day, thanks to Lyft.
    [44:33] Sarita thanks Kristin for sharing so much of her story and expertise on the Heels of Justice podcast and she signs off until next time.
     
    That’s it for this episode of Heels of Justice; if you like the stories we’re telling, please visit our website. You can join our mailing list, learn more about our guests, and see what we have planned for the future.
     
    You can also follow us on Twitter, on Instagram, and on Facebook.
     
    Disclaimer: The opinions you have heard are ours or our guests’ alone. They’re not the opinions of our employers, or our clients, or ou

    • 38 min
    Karyn A. Temple: You are Important and You are Qualified; Don’t Be Afraid!

    Karyn A. Temple: You are Important and You are Qualified; Don’t Be Afraid!

    Welcome to Heels of Justice; these are the stories of women lawyers who are trailblazers in their field and paved the way for the rest of us.
     
    Karyn A. Temple, Senior Executive Vice President and Global General Counsel for the Motion Picture Association joins the Heels of Justice to share her steadfast journey into copyright law.
     
    Tune in for a fascinating discussion about the journey in and out of governmental and private law practice as well as the evolution of work conditions for a woman of color in a largely white-male-dominated profession.
     
    Key Takeaways
    [:47] Katherine welcomes Karyn A. Temple and asks her to share the story of how she found her way into law school as well as how she found out the practice of law was her calling.
     
    [4:00] Karyn shares how enjoyable law school was for her in both the differences and similarities to her expectations as well as seeing a path to copyright law.
     
    [8:35] From clerking on the Sixth Circuit to working at the Department of Justice (for a short time, alongside her mother!) and joining Williams & Connolly, Karyn shares her formidable private and government experience.
     
    [14:53] Karyn speaks to her first in-house role at the Recording Industry Association, and how her proactive interest in entertainment cases at Williams & Connolly helped her in that role. She shares one particular case she had to tackle there.
     
    [18:59] Looping back into the DoJ! Karyn shares what brought her back on the policy side — hint, it was a specific administration. She shares her roles and responsibilities as the Senior Counsel to the Deputy Attorney General of the United-States.
     
    [21:55] Joining the Copyright Office was a full-circle experience and Karyn takes a moment to explain how copyright operates and how it affects so many aspects of our lives.
     
    [26:21] Karyn shares two wonderful experiences where she was asked to go to Beijing and Marrakesh and negotiate treaties on the behalf of the United-States and explains what a copyright treaty is.
     
    [28:47] So beyond being very cool, what does the title of United States Register of Copyrights, Karyn breaks down what the position entails and the teams that rely on its leadership.
     
    [30:27] Reaching the pinnacle of copyright law was a huge pride point for someone as steadfastly focused on copyright law for her entire career! Karyn shares her most memorable achievement in the role.
     
    [31:19] General Counsel of the Motion Picture Association is Karyn’s current role; she touches on what it is they do — you know those ratings? It’s them!
     
    [30:32] Being a black woman in a notoriously undiverse profession, Karyn shares her daily experience of discrimination in its various forms, as well as her hope for the future and the conversation we need to have as a society. She also touches on how the current trend to speak openly about these issues is affecting the way she chooses to lead.
     
    [34:39] Failure is part of how we learn; Karyn shares her perspective on what that means for lawyers and how you can move forward from your mistakes. She shares a moment when she advocated for herself in her career.
     
    [49:31] Katherine thanks Karyn A. Temple for all of her insight and openness to share her experience and signs off until next time.
     
    That’s it for this episode of Heels of Justice; if you like the stories we’re telling, please visit our website. You can join our mailing list, learn more about our guests, and see what we have planned for the future.
     
    You can also follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
     
    Disclaimer: The opinions you have heard are ours or our guests’ alone. They’re not the opinions of our employers, or our clients, or our bosses, and not our husbands, kids, or pets, or anyone else’s.
     
    More about the Heels of Justice hosts Sarita Venkat, and Katherine Minarik
    Heels of Justice on the Web
    Heels of Justice on Twitter
    Heels of Justice on Instagram
    Heels of Justice on

    • 34 min
    Judge Williams: Being the First, Ancestors, and Humanity

    Judge Williams: Being the First, Ancestors, and Humanity

    Welcome to Heels of Justice; these are the stories of women lawyers who are trailblazers in their field and paved the way for the rest of us.
     
    The Honorable retired Judge Ann Claire Williams is a trailblazer and leader devoted to promoting the effective delivery of justice worldwide, particularly in Africa. She has partnered with judiciaries, attorneys, NGOs, and the U.S. Departments of Justice and State to lead training programs in Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Liberia, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia. She also has taught at the International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia.
     
    Judge Williams has led a brilliant career heading a series of firsts for both women and persons of color, she joins the podcast today to share her trailblazing stories and experience. Tune in for an insightful discussion about the ever-changing and evolving world we live in and the pivotal place lawyers take in it.
     
    Key Takeaways
    [1:00] Sarita welcomes Judge Ann Claire Williams and asks her to share a little bit about where she grew up, why she began teaching so early, and how she started law school on a dare!
     
    [4:34] Though she had no idea what law school would be like, Judge Williams shares the insight she had that led her to believe she actually could be a lawyer: teachers teach and lawyers teach.
     
    [8:06] Judge Williams shares advice for young aspiring law students from what it means to get a great grade point on your first year, to asking the questions to get the answers you need, getting mentors and sponsors to get recommendation letters, joining the Moot Court and affinity groups, and much, much more! Fifty percent of the game is believing in yourself.
     
    [17:50] Starting her legal career was partly thanks to having made an impression on the Dean at law school, Judge Williams shares how she came to clerk, for whom and how she changed his hiring practice. She shares the three lessons she learned from getting that position:
    1- You never know who is looking at you and evaluating you
    2- We are not in the rooms where decisions are made so you need allies and mentors to pitch for you
    3- Mentors come in all colors and ages
     
    [21:04] Judge Williams talks about how she started as an Assistant U.S. Attorney and the conversation she agreed to have with Marianne Jackson that sparked her interest in the AUSA. She shares her experience there and the sensitivity she hopes to have brought to the position.
     
    [27:11] Sarita lays out the long list of “firsts” that Judge Williams has had the courage and grace to accomplish for all those who came after her. Judge Williams shares what these have meant to her.
     
    [30:33] Judge Williams shares what it is that judges want, and what you should avoid at all costs — don’t ruin your own credibility: you want an assumption that the arguments you’re making are strong and to the point. Also, “Judges talk, just like lawyers, and we talk about lawyers!”
     
    [35:45] Having loved being a trial lawyer and a trial judge, our guest shares what pulled her from the bench. She touches on the differences and challenges in tackling the Court of Appeals cases.
     
    [39:39] Judge Williams speaks to having begun her work in Africa in 2002, what that burgeoned into over the years and what personal dream she was able to fulfill by doing so. She opens up about the kind of work she has been able to do through her current counsel practice at Jones Day.
     
    [46:32] Having had the opportunity to work on multiple continents, Judge Williams shares some of the differences and similarities she’s had the pleasure of witnessing first hand. One common thread linking most is a belief in the rule of law and the accessibility of law for the people of their countries.
     
    [48:25] The amount of work Judge Williams had done outside of her “job” is impressive; she speaks to the reasons that drove her to accomplish this much and launch these organizations.
     
    [55:

    • 48 min
    Season 2 Kickoff

    Season 2 Kickoff

    Sarita and Katherine kick off Season 2.

    • 14 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
68 Ratings

68 Ratings

Sarah-MacDonald ,

This is as good as it gets — women empowering other women!

Both Sarita and Katherine are such accomplished trailblazers who are down to earth and relatable to me as a lawyer mom. I enjoy every single episode! Thank you, Sarita and Katherine, for interviewing such a wonderful and evolving group of women who are shattering glass ceilings left and right. The wisdom that you and your podcast guests share is invaluable. Your podcast is inspiring and refreshing.

MizzouMare2000 ,

Entertaining and educational

I really enjoyed the great flow of the conversation, especially the human quality of it. The topics are so much more approachable in their approach to them. These hosts have such tremendous experience, and they skillfully distill their expertise into very enjoyable episodes.

IanB1979 ,

Entertaining and Useful—And Not Just For Women

Nicely produced podcast with an impressive array of fascinating guests. As a male attorney with over a decade of experience, I have been applying lessons from these smart conversations to enhance my practice and career. Highly recommended!

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