Law Firm: Alston & Bird
Practice Area: Class actions and products liability
Years in Practice: 16
Law School: USC Gould School of Law
Lisa Gilford was sworn in as president of the National Association of Women Lawyers in July. Since then, she’s made it her mission to help women become rainmakers and leaders at law firms. One of the programs she spearheaded brings female attorneys working in-house together with female attorneys at firms with the goal of forming some new client relationships between the two groups. “It really is an organization of women helping women,” she said. Gilford is a top litigator in her own right. As regional counsel for DuPont, she represents the company in all Southern California matters, most of which arise out of claims of exposure to benzene, lead, asbestos, mold, solvents and other chemicals. A different client could keep Gilford extra busy in the coming year. Her name has popped up on court filings on behalf of Toyota Motors Inc. in suits involving allegations of sticky gas pedals. Unfortunately, Gilford said she was not at liberty to discuss the multi-district litigation.
Pretrial Ritual: Holing up in a room with all the documents and immersing herself in the issues.
Biggest Career Break: When she was a young associate, Gilford’s firm appointed her as account manager for client DuPont. The move boosted her confidence and taught her now to manage client costs and make sure the firm provided value to the client. “That relationship with DuPont extends today,” she said. “It really was a watershed in my personal development.”