The Portia Project™ Podcast seeks to inspire the next generation of women lawyers and law students by sharing the stories of high achieving women in the law – their paths to the bench, the bar, and beyond. Their personal histories, spanning the 1960’s to today, chronicle women’s progress in the legal profession and business world, and serve as powerful reminders that there are many individual paths to success.
As master storyteller Bobette Buster puts it: “Stories, told well and acted upon by one generation, ignite the next generation to greatness; because they have heard with their own ears, and seen with their own eyes, what courage can achieve.”
Guests stepping into the spotlight to share their career stories include federal judges, state supreme court justices, and state trial judges from across the country, as well as leading trial lawyers, general counsel, law professors, business and nonprofit executives, and founders. They provide tips on effective lawyering and reveal the array of meaningful careers possible with a law degree, in a format that is a far cry from formal judicial or lawyer profiles in traditional legal publications – one that brings out the interviewees’ human side and lets their personality shine through.
By listening to the lives of these lawyers and judges, you will gain a clearer idea of how they built their careers and may be inspired to follow in their footsteps. Who knows, maybe the next woman to revolutionize law, business, or the judiciary will be you!
Hosting the podcast is M.C. Sungaila, a practicing lawyer for more than 30 years, who has consistently been named one of the Top 100 Women Lawyers in California by the legal newspaper The Daily Journal. She focuses on civil appeals, writs, and related trial strategy and consulting. M.C. received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor for her combined professional achievements in humanitarian and pro bono work. She shares this recognition with seven U.S. Presidents, Nobel Prize winners, athletes, artists, and industry leaders who made a significant contribution to humanity.
M.C. invites amazing judges and lawyers to the podcast to share their valuable, inspiring legal advice. With each guest, you receive the best of both worlds: tips to improve your law practice and insights to enhance your career trajectory.
Join M.C. Sungaila in this meaningful journey to elevate your legal career and forge the path to becoming the lawyer of your dreams.
Listen to The Portia Project™ Podcast today at theportiaprojectpodcast.com
Rhonda K. Wood
M.C. Sungaila sits down with Justice Rhonda K. Wood, an Associate Justice on the Arkansas Supreme Court and co-host of the Lady Justice podcast, to hear her path to the bench in a state where judges are elected, and her legal career in the then-nascent specialty of privacy law in the medical context (HIPPA). She also provides some solid tips on appellate advocacy. For example, Justice Wood suggests that lawyers ask for exactly what kind of relief they want, and provide an alternative outcome in the event the Court cannot reach consensus to grant the primary form of relief you request.
Sarah Beth Landau
Justice Sarah Beth Landau is the first public defender elected to the First Court of Appeals in Texas. With host M.C. Sungaila she shares insights from her journey, including becoming a judge through an elected process, appellate brief writing, and mentorship.
Jennifer L. Keller
Jennifer L. Keller is one of America’s most successful trial attorneys. Ranked among the top commercial litigators in the nation, people describe Jennifer as “one of the best trial lawyers in California,” “has uncanny instincts, a wonderful courtroom demeanor, and an extremely clear and effective communicator,” and “absolutely unflappable in court and builds a strong rapport and credibility with judges and decision-makers.” Today, she joins MC Sungaila to talk about some of her work and what attracted her to the profession. She also shares tips on finding opportunities to have a wonderful trial experience. Get to know this excellent trial lawyer more by tuning in today!
Cyndie M. Chang
M.C. Sungaila sits down with Cyndie M. Chang, the Los Angeles Office Managing Partner at Duane Morris. Cyndie discusses the importance of cultural fit in choosing a law firm -- and how that can lead to leadership opportunities-- as well as her national bar leadership positions. She describes the importance of mentors in her career, and how she pays it forward by supporting and inspiring the next generation.
Dawn Du Verney
In this episode, host MC Sungaila chats with Chief Deputy Clerk Dawn Du Verney of the Western District of Tennessee to uncover how her current role combines her degree in law and her skills on the administrative side, gained from various executive leadership and legal positions within corporate, academic, nonprofit, and government sectors. She touches on the importance of developing soft skills and having the right team of mentors to guide you in your career. She also talks about her experience as a woman working in the legal field and how we can further support each other in the space.
In her role as Chief Program Officer for the nonprofit Girls, Inc. in Orange County, California, Jessica Hubbard combines her experience as an educator with her legal training to help girls become strong, smart, and bold. With host M.C. Sungaila, Jessica discusses her pursuit of a law degree and how she decided to apply those skills on behalf of an organization dedicated to mentoring girls and young women.
A spotlight for female thought leaders
A refreshing series showcasing brilliant legal minds in the female judiciary and other leadership roles.
This podcast is phenomenal. I love learning about the trajectories of women lawyers and judges and hearing their advice about career, lawyering, and life. The guests are insightful and well-spoken, and the podcast host, MC Sungaila, knows how to thoughtfully elicit information from her guests. When I listen, it feels like we’re all just sitting around a table, drinking coffee with old friends, and reflecting. It’s a great feeling!