Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Ribbon Cutting/Grand Opening of Women Helping Women's New Offices in Santa Ana

On Tuesday, May 24th, Women Helping Women/Men2Work hosted a Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce mixer to commemorate the Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening of its new offices in Santa Ana.  Among the many attendees of the ceremony were Carlos Urquiza of Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez’s office, Nate Mitchell of Supervisor Janet Nguyen’s office, Linda Oberman, City of Santa Ana Economic Development Manager, and David Elliott, President and CEO of the Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce.  Women Helping Women’s board of directors President Laurie Rowen, Vice President Susie McCollom and board member Thu Vuong also attended and assisted executive director Janie Wolicki with the ribbon cutting ceremony.  

WHW/Men2Work was founded in 1993, and helps low income men and women through employment success programs.   The new facility brought WHW/Men2Work from 2200 sq. ft to over 8300 sq. ft.
Montage Legal Group is co-sponsoring a Southern California law firm clothing drive, along with law firms Hewitt Wolensky LLP, Snell & Wilmer LLP, and Albrecht & Barney, to benefit Women Helping Women/Men2Work.  This clothing drive, “Suits for a Cause,” will be held during the month of June.  Over 20 law firms have already signed up to participate.   For more information on how you can help, please see our Suits for a Cause page. 

Friday, May 6, 2011

Montage Adds Six Lawyers from Gibson Dunn, Latham & Watkins, Bryan Cave, Baker & McKenzie and Other Firms

As stated in The Wall Street Journal - Online,,, and other on-line publications on May 6th:  

Montage Legal Group has seen enormous growth already this year. The group recently added six new lawyers who previously practiced law at firms like Latham and Watkins, Morrison Foerster, Gibson Dunn and Crutcher, Bryan Cave, Paul Hastings, Cooley, Baker and McKenzie, Covington and Burling, and Morgan Lewis and Bockius.
Montage's six new contract attorneys, Kimberly Bick, Shannon Sweeney, Jenna Randolph, Carolyn McKitterick, Christina Johnson, and Kim Murakawa, expand Montage's presence in Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego.
Most of Montage's 20 freelance lawyers are mothers who joined the network directly after leaving in-house counsel positions or law firms, but others are a growing subset of women who are relaunching their legal careers after taking time off to raise their children. "Just because a female lawyer chooses to take several years off to raise her children doesn't mean she has to stop working forever," says Kim Bick, who obtained her bachelor's degree, her masters in civil engineering and her law degree from Stanford University. "Montage not only keeps young mothers in the legal market, but it provides a supportive network to someone like me to wants to use their law firm training to benefit both their careers and the legal community."
"The legal community doesn't have to lose talented female lawyers anymore," says Berkeley Law graduate and Montage lawyer, Lindley Fraley. "Montage gives me the opportunity to work from home for other law firms without the prior stigma attached to being a contract lawyer." Fraley, who formerly practiced at Latham and Watkins and Payne and Fears, has a two year old toddler and is due in June with her second daughter.
The story also also recognizes Montage Legal Group founders, Laurie Rowen and Erin Gigla for appearing in this month's OC Metro 2011 40 Under 40 issue, highlighting 40 Orange County professionals under the age of 40. 

Meet our new Montage Legal Group attorneys below!

Kim Bick

Kim graduated from Stanford Law School, with distinction, and was a member of the Stanford Law Review. She earned her B.S. in Environmental Earth Sciences and her M.S. in Civil Engineering from Stanford University in 1985.

Kim then practiced environmental law at Covington and Burling, Morrison Foerster, and Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher. Kim currently advises on environmental law and compliance.

Kim volunteers with the National Charity League. She lives with her husband and two teenagers in Orange County.

Christina Johnson

Christina Johnson obtained her Juris Doctor from UCLA School of Law in 2003, graduating in the top 10%, as Order of the Coif. Christina also obtained her B.A. in Communications Studies, cum laude, from UCLA in 1998.

After law school, Christina practiced law at Crowell and Moring as a litigation/government contracts associate, then Morgan, Lewis and Bockius as a real estate associate, and then Jones and Mayer, where she focused on municipal law.

Christina was an actress in several hit television shows and movies.  She lives with her husband and young children in Long Beach, CA.

Jenna Randolph

Jenna obtained her B.A. at the University of California, Berkeley, and her J.D. from the UCLA School of Law. Jenna was a member of the UCLA Entertainment Law Review.

After law school, Jenna joined Bryan Cave LLP, where she focused on commercial litigation and labor and employment . Following Bryan Cave, Jenna was in-house assistant counsel at PICOCO LLC.

Throughout her career, Jenna has maintained a dynamic pro bono practice.  Jenna lives with her family in Orange County.

Shannon Sweeney

Shannon obtained a B.A. in Art History and Theatre from Scripps College, and her J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law. While at USF, she served on and was published in the USF Law Review.

After law school, Shannon joined Cooley Godward in San Diego. Following Cooley, Shannon joined Baker and McKenzie where she focused on consumer class actions and complex business and commercial disputes. 

Shannon practices in San Diego, and is due with her first child in May.

Kim Murakawa

Kim Murakawa obtained her Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center, and her B.A. in Journalism from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 1994. Prior to attending law school, Kim was Press Secretary to the Governor of Hawaii and was a television and newspaper reporter.

Following law school, Kim was an associate at Bryan Cave in the Banking and Real Estate, and then joined the Real Estate/Finance Group at Latham and Watkins. Kim was also in-house counsel for Mobilitie, LLC in Newport Beach.

Kim lives with her husband and 22 month old daughter in Irvine.

Carolyn McKitterick

Carolyn graduated, cum laude, from the University of California, Irvine, with a degree in social ecology, and obtained her J.D. from Loyola Law School, finishing in the top 15% of her class.

After law school, Carolyn joined Paul, Hastings, Janofsky and Walker as an associate in the employment group. Carolyn then left Big Law and began an active role in the community, with leadership roles in the NCL, Public Law Center, and the OC Bar Foundation.

Carolyn is active with her busy family, including her two daughters, a USC graduate and a senior at Stanford University.

For more information about Montage Legal Group, please see our website:

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Glass Hammer Asks "Ambition and Motherhood: Can Women Have it All?"

The Glass Hammer, an award-winning blog and online community created for women executives in finance, law, technology and big business, came out with an article today called Ambition and Motherhood: Can Women Have It All?  Tina Vasquez, a well known freelance writer who frequently writes about women’s issues, discusses the book Off-Ramps and On-Ramps: Keeping TalentedWomen on the Road to Success, by Sylvia Ann Hewlett.   Hewlett's book “explores the often ‘non linear’ career paths women take because of the still constant tug of domestic responsibilities.”   

According to Hewlett and to the Center for Work-Life Policy/Harvard Business Review Report, In-Depth Data Revealing Whether and Why Highly Qualified Women 'Opt Out', 37% of highly qualified women voluntarily quit their jobs for a period of time to raise their children, but 93% want to return to work. Unfortunately for many, “there is no workplace to return to” or the ones that do return suffer what the article calls the “mommy penalty” where it is “assumed their head is no longer in the game and they no longer care about their career as much as they did pre-child."

Author of Undecided, Shannon Kelley, is a freelance writer and a leading expert in women's expectations and dissatisfaction relating to their career choices.  The article quotes Kelley in a discussion about how it is impossible to have it all: “You can’t have a full-throttle career and 24/7 with your kids. So maybe you won’t have the time you want with your kids. Maybe you’ll have to dial back your career. But the fact is, when you’re doing A, by definition you cannot be doing B. Women are living–and working–in a world that was built by and for men. Workplace structures haven’t evolved to support this reality; they still operate as though each of their employees had a full-time spouse at home to take care of business. Whose life looks like that anymore? For most people, work isn’t a choice, it’s a necessity and the workplace needs to change to reflect that.” (For more information on Undecided authors, see our blog post Are you Undecided about being a lawyer?)

In spite of the challenges and trade-offs that are intrinsic to every mother’s career path, Vasquez notes that it is possible to “Change the System to Work for You,” and uses Montage Legal Group as a case in point.  Vasquez quotes Erin Giglia as follows:
“Defining ‘having it all’ is incredibly subjective. For me, it means having the ability to be there for my kids at events, helping with homework, and generally running the house on a daily basis, all while advancing my career,” Giglia said. “There really is no best practice when it comes to balancing career with family. I think the key to achieving success in career and family is finding a supportive work and family situation. Women need to have the courage to ask for what they want and the confidence to know that they deserve to have it."

The Glass Hammer has been a favorite blog, and an inspiration to Montage Legal Group since its inception. Thanks to The Glass Hammer for including Montage Legal Group in the article!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

OC Metro Magazine Names Laurie Rowen and Erin Giglia Among its 2011 40 Under 40

OC Metro Magazine recently revealed its 2011 list of Orange County's top 40 professionals under age 40 – and it includes Montage Legal Group's co-owners/founders, Laurie Rowen and Erin Giglia.  
The May issue of OC Metro included its annual cover story "40 Under 40."   Orange County's premier business and lifestyle magazine states, “This year’s list of overachieving young professionals includes rising stars in every field imaginable.  Yes, they work hard. But as you’ll see, they still have a playful spirit.”  Laurie Rowen (age 31) and Erin Giglia (age 34) are honored to be part of such an impressive group of Orange County’s young entrepreneurs.    

See Laurie and Erin's profile below or on OC Metro - Laurie Rowen and Erin Giglia, and check out the Wall Street Journal article about OC Metro and Montage Legal's Growth.

*OC METRO FULL STORY: To read the full 40 Under 40 story, go to the OC Metro's Digital Edition for May. 

*OC METRO EVENT PHOTOGRAPHS: To see photographs from the OC Metro 40 Under 40 event at the Pelican Hill resort in Newport Beach, go to the OC Metro Event Page.

*OC METRO VIDEO: To watch the video from the event, see the Special Edition: OC Metro Minute.

The June Issue of OC Metro featured photos from the 40 Under 40 event on page 32.
Montage Legal owners appear with their husbands, Kyle Rowen (left) and Bryan Giglia (right).

For more information about Montage Legal Group, please see our website: