Tuesday, May 22, 2012

New York Law Journal Profiles Adult Girl Scout Volunteer

The New York Law Journal reports that Mary Beth Hogan, a full-time litigator at Debevoise & Plimpton, formed a Girl Scout troop for students at her daughter's school in fall 2010 and has helped lead the troop since.

She and the troop's other co-leader coordinate activities for 13 girls in third through fifth grades at the Manhattan elementary school. They meet every other week on Friday afternoons. Hogan, a former Girl Scout herself, spends several hours a month helping to plan and organize the girls' work for earning merit badges, putting together presentations, selling cookies and other activities.

She is the only woman on Debevoise & Plimpton's eight-member management committee and the co-founder of the firm's Women's Resource Group, which promotes the advancement of firm lawyers. Outside the firm, she is on the board of directors at Catalyst, the nonprofit organization that studies women's experiences in the workplace among various professions.

Hogan, 49, graduated from Rutgers School of Law in 1990 and after one year in a judicial clerkship began at Debevoise. A mother of three, she is the first litigator at the firm to become a partner while working part time. Her practice focuses on commercial litigation, regulatory and white-collar defense, employment litigation and internal investigations. She has represented companies and organizations in suits alleging discrimination, sexual harassment and wrongful termination. Her clients include JPMorgan Chase, UBS, The Carlyle Group and Syracuse University.

When asked what skills and knowledge girls in her troop learn and how can it help them in their careers, Hogan states:

"Having just made it through Girl Scout cookie season, our troop certainly sharpened their sales, arithmetic and money-handling skills. We try to plan activities that touch on many different areas. The girls have earned badges in architecture, fashion and hobbies that are "unplugged," like juggling and camping. We particularly like to have activities that involve presentations by the girls so that, from a young age (third through fifth grades), they gain confidence and comfort in speaking in front of a group."