BOARD MEMBER FEATURE

VICE PRESIDENT
KATHERINE PACYNSKI 

(1) What is your “why?”  

I do what I do because I love it.  I like to learn about new technologies, and I love to get to know and help our clients. I look forward to being an example to my daughter, showing her that it’s possible to have a successful career and a family.  Having a paycheck doesn’t hurt either!

(2) What was your biggest legal accomplishment last year? 

I was named a shareholder at my firm in January 2018. That was a huge, and unexpected, compliment!

(3) Who is your female role model?  

Growing up, my role model was (and still is) my mom.  She is a partner at a local CPA firm, with her name on the building and everything! I’ve always been amazed how she was able to have a successful career while still always being there to pick us up from school, help us with our homework, and have dinner on the table for nightly family meals.  She never missed an event, and she always put her family above everything else.

Professionally, my role model and mentor is Kristen Pursley.  She is an incredibly successful patent attorney and is the Managing Shareholder of our firm. While patent law is a pretty male-dominated field, she has brought in several female patent attorneys and has helped to create a culture here that encourages both work and family.  It has been enlightening to see how she manages to be involved in so much while maintaining a packed docket and being a mom to three kids.  Plus, she’s an overall great person and friend.

(4) What is your favorite pro bono activity?

I am involved with a nonprofit called Art&Soul, which seeks to bring awareness to and inspire adoption of foster children in Michigan.  It’s a powerful message, and it’s really eye-opening how many children in our state are looking for the love of a forever family.

(5) What do you find most challenging as an attorney?

Finding the time to do it all.  My husband and I are both attorneys, and we have a daughter who was born in March 2018.  We want to spend as much time with her as possible (which is hard since she goes to bed at 7 PM!), and we are still figuring out how to accommodate the demands of our careers.

(6) What advice do you have for law students and new lawyers?  

One piece of advice from a professor in law school that stuck with me is to always be nice to your support staff.  It seems like such a simple thing, but I’ve seen firsthand what a difference it makes.  My assistant works her tail off because we have mutual respect for each other, and we recognize that we couldn’t accomplish anything without each other.

(7) If you could go back, what would you do differently?

Nothing. I think I’ve been led on this path, and I don’t regret anything.

(8) What local restaurant can you not live without?

This will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me, but my husband and I probably could not live without pizza. We are definitely not strangers to the Little Caesars down the street (but it’s way better with no sauce).

(9) What is your favorite thing to do in your free time?

Relax at home.  There’s nothing better than playing with my daughter or being in sweatpants with a glass of wine and reading a book or watching tv.

(10) What is the best thing about being a WBA – Oakland Region of WLAM member?

Meeting new friends.  I didn’t know anyone at the first WBA meeting I attended, but something told me to go to the meeting anyway.  I’m so glad I did.  I have met some really amazing women, who I am now happy to call my friends.