Pat Gillette | Just Ask! How Women Can Succeed as Rainmakers AND Law Firm Leaders

Pat Gillette

Pat Gillette is one of the country’s leading experts and most sought-after speakers on gender diversity and equality. She regularly speaks at law firm retreats, conferences, ABA meetings, State Bar meetings, and industry events. Over the 40 years that Pat practiced law, she ranked as a top employment litigator and trial lawyer and was a leader and rainmaker in her firms.

Pat’s book, Rainmakers: Born or Bred, details practical tactics and strategies that can be easily implemented to enhance your business development skills. The book also includes helpful tips from rainmakers and clients across the country.

Pat recognizes the uneven playing field for women and minorities in the legal space. That’s why she co-founded the Opt-In Project — a nationwide initiative focused on changing the structure of law firms to increase the retention and advancement of women. As someone who worked her way up to become a rainmaker, Pat knows the challenges minorities face in reaching leadership positions. That’s why she’s dedicated to mentoring women and minorities, as well as guiding law firms in their journey to become a more diverse, inclusive, and equal workplace.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Pat Gillette discusses the evolution of the legal industry, including the move toward more diverse firms
  • What systemic challenges exist in the industry?
  • How women can grow as business developers and leaders
  • The pandemic’s effects on business development
  • Pat discusses her journey to becoming a rainmaker
  • Pat’s advice to other lawyers: just ask!

In this episode…

It’s no secret that law industry trends are changing. People are calling on firms to take action toward gender and racial diversity and create equal opportunities for all. However, Pat Gillette says you have to go beyond training programs.

When you challenge the systemic issues, there’s more opportunity for change within your organization. According to Pat, law firm leaders need to analyze how assignments are handed out, who has the lead role in trials, who gets to speak with clients, and more. So how exactly should you choose the people to be in the leadership pipeline? Traditionally, it’s just a tap on the shoulder, but Pat advises that you need to cultivate a diverse pool of candidates to create visible opportunity.

In this episode of The Lawyer’s Edge Podcast, Elise Holtzman talks with author, speaker, and rainmaker Pat Gillette about enacting change to elevate women and minorities in the law industry. Pat discusses the systemic challenges in the industry, how leaders can work toward a more diverse environment, and shares advice for women and minorities looking to grow as business developers. Stay tuned!

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by The Lawyer’s Edge, a firm based in the New York metropolitan area founded by Elise Holtzman in 2008 to help lawyers become skilled business developers and leaders so that they can grow their practices, retain top talent, and step confidently into leadership roles.

The firm offers customized coaching, consulting, and training programs such as their signature business development program, Lawyers Making Rain.

Now more than ever, it’s not enough to just do good work and hope your law firm will thrive. And no matter how smart and hard-working you are, it can be time-consuming and overwhelming to figure it all out by yourself.

To learn more about how we help lawyers become rainmakers and leaders, visit or email us at


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