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Celebrating Women’s History Month at Tarter Krinsky & Drogin by Learning More About the Accomplished Women at Our Firm

March 5, 2019

To celebrate Women's History Month, we are featuring the wise words and career advice from the outstanding women of Tarter Krinsky & Drogin throughout the month of March. We know we can learn from them, and we hope you can too.

Mariya Diawara – Immigration paralegal
Why did you choose your profession?
When the great recession hit in 2008, I had this one-time chance to choose a profession all over again, and I decided to become an immigration paralegal because I had always enjoyed studying documents from different countries and the differences between them. Thankfully the new path worked out, and I have had a wonderful opportunity to help others through my work.

Amy Goldsmith – Intellectual Property co-chair
What does Women’s History Month mean to you?
I’m heartened by the focus on women who have made so many meaningful contributions but until now have been unsung heroines. But publicizing and celebrating the accomplishments of these women should not be limited to one month out of the year. Our educational institutions need a paradigm shift to incorporate the accomplishments of women in the curricula as the norm, not the exception.

What do you love most about what you do?
I love applying out of the box, resourceful thinking to the myriad of knotty problems faced by our clients. I recently published an article about the difficulty in achieving copyright registration for jewelry designs. By working with the designer at the beginning of the creative process, we can explain that a design patent may be the option. Or our suggestions may improve the likelihood that a copyright may be granted. Alternatively, the jewelry design may itself become the symbol of the company, in the source-indicating, trademark sense. We’ve been successful using this 360° approach.

Ayana Lewis – Human Resources Generalist
Tell us about a woman you look up to and why.
My mom. She made me into the woman I am today. She was the oldest of 10 children and grew up in the Jim Crow south. Although my grandparents struggled to raise ten children and were unable to provide everything they wanted to for their children, my mom always wanted a better life. After graduating from high school, my mom moved to New York City and began working as a live-in nanny for a doctor and his family. She cared for his two sons who were often ill and had a caring touch for his two sons who were often ill and with his encouragement, she pursued a career in nursing and became an ER nurse at a local hospital in Brooklyn while being a single mother to my sister and me. I watched her struggle both physically, financially and sometimes emotionally, but she never gave up. She was the hardest working woman I know. She always believed in me and pushed me to be whatever I wanted to be. She was my biggest cheerleader. Everything I am is because of my mom, my grandmother and all the women in my family. 

Do you have a mentor?
In addition to having a mentor in the traditional sense who worked with me in navigating corporate America as an African American woman, I consider the many women with whom I have crossed paths throughout my career who have given me advice, resources and upliftment as mentors. Tarter Krinsky & Drogin values the voices and opinions of all of its employees, and I have learned so much from the women here, which has helped me to embrace the idea that mentoring can come in all forms of relationships.

Janet Linn - Counsel
Any advice to young women who want to succeed in the workplace?
Speak, write and get involved in activities outside of work - join professional organizations, community and charitable organizations. 

What do you wish you could tell your younger self?
Don’t listen to men who tell you that women can’t develop business and always speak up for yourself.

Clarice Ingram – Legal secretary
What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?
Everyone has a talent, a gift, and no one can take away your gift. Someone wise once asked me, 'What is my passion?’ The key is to find a job in which you can utilize these gifts, and where you are passionate about what you do. Your job will be less stressful and easier if have the passion and are able to put your talents to good use.

Sharinna Luna – Staff Accountant
What do you wish you could tell your younger professional self?
As a Hispanic woman in the corporate world, some people might doubt you and not believe in you. Just keep your head up and keep working hard. Hard work always pays off.

How do you achieve work/life balance?
Keep a planner! I have calendars everywhere – one at work for due dates, one at home for personal family events and finally my planner ties everything together. Every morning I start my day by creating a to-do list and prioritizing the list to make sure I complete the most important tasks first.

Bernice Lefkovics – Legal secretary
Tell us about a woman you look up to and why.
Audrey Hepburn for her timeless elegance and iconic style.

What do you love most about what you do?
Being an integral part of a team.

Sherri Lydell – Commercial Finance partner
How are you breaking barriers faced by women in your field?
The best advice I can give to any woman starting in business or reinventing herself is to form bonds with like-minded women who have your back. Several years ago, I got together with a group of women in my industry and we discussed our frustrations with the "old boys’ network.” We decided that instead of worrying about trying to fit in with our male colleagues, we would form our own women’s’ network and we called it WHOW (women helping other women).

As WHOW women, we golf together at outings regardless of our abilities and cheer on one another. We are there for one another no matter what. We build each other up without judgment, jealousy, competition or ego. We truly want each of us to succeed and shine.

Toni Serrant – Litigation paralegal
Which woman most inspires you and why?
In this industry, the Notorious RBG, without a doubt for being a lifetime advocate for equality.

What do you think is the key for success in a role like yours?
The ever-ending commitment to being a lifelong learner.

Laurie Stanziale – Construction partner
What advice would you give to women in your field?
Women often process information differently and have different viewpoints than men. In a particularly male-dominated field like construction, women should use those differences to their advantage.

What advice would you give to young women who want to succeed in the workplace? Know your worth and never be afraid to ask for more money or more opportunities.

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Name Title Direct Dial Vcard
Diawara, Mariya Paralegal Paralegal 212.216.1171 VCard
Goldsmith, Amy B. Partner and Co-Chair of Intellectual Property Group Partner and Co-Chair of Intellectual Property Group 212.216.1135 VCard
Lydell, Sherri D. Partner Partner 212.216.1151 VCard
Stanziale, Laurie A. Partner Partner 212.216.1175 VCard

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