transitive verb
:to make changes: do something in a new way
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Professional Advancement of Women

Our AT women are more than attorneys, and we’re proud to support their professional and personal development through the Professional Advancement of Women (PAW) program. Learn more about how Shelley Ericsson, Sherry Doctorian, Meshach Rhoades, Michelle Alarie and Jessica Mendez are contributing to the firm and their communities, and visit us again soon to learn more about other women at the firm.

About PAW
Armstrong Teasdale’s Professional Advancement of Women (PAW) program’s mission is to create a positive and supportive environment for women attorneys through mentoring, networking and educational opportunities. It also aims to strengthen existing relationships with clients and prospects as well as forge new relationships between professional and executive women in the community. As a result, our women lawyers are generating new business, serving as first-chair in trials, handling sizable matters and holding leadership positions on client teams.

The firm broke new ground when partner Tessa Trelz founded the Professional Advancement of Women program (PAW) in 1998. At that time, few firms focused resources on helping women partners and associates succeed. Since then, PAW has served as a model for programs at other firms.

The program, now led by partner Hillary Bean, includes a number of efforts to better attract, retain and promote female lawyers by creating an environment in which all women can thrive.

Evidence of PAW’s success can be found in the leadership roles women now hold at Armstrong Teasdale, including positions on the firm’s management and compensation committees. Examples include, Lori Bockman who co-chairs Armstrong Teasdale’s public finance practice area and is the firm’s general counsel; Tessa Trelz who leads the Corporate Services practice group; Jennifer Schwesig, a Law360 “Rising Legal Star,” heads the International subgroup; and Jovita Foster chairs the AT Inclusion Committee and is a member of the firm's Executive Committee. Several key staff directors are also women.

The following are some of PAW’s initiatives:

Through a series of seminars, one-on-one coaching and an outside career expert, the firm’s female lawyers are provided advice and counseling on business development skills. Through this program female lawyers have found that the outside perspective of a career coach is highly valued and creates a win-win situation for the lawyer, the firm and clients.

Women's Luncheon
Armstrong Teasdale’s female lawyers invite women clients and friends to this annual event that features an informative presentation by an in-house lawyer or outside speaker. The format is to encourage a round-table discussion that presents a unique educational and networking opportunity for influential women in the local business community.

Women's Holiday Cocktail Reception
Armstrong Teasdale hosts annual holiday cocktail receptions at unique St. Louis locations. Female clients, prospective clients, friends and other contacts of all firm lawyers are invited to attend. The firm also partners with a local charitable organization and offers attendees the opportunity to bring in-kind or cash donations to benefit a charity chosen by the women. This event designed to benefit not only the firm’s female lawyers but also to foster strong relationships between professional women from all industries.