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Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy L.L.P.

Los Angeles

Age: 47

In her eight years as a litigator specializing in reinsurance at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, Linda Dakin-Grimm has been involved in many high-profile and complex cases. Among recent cases, she helped a major U.S. insurer recover from its reinsurer in settling a series of complex environmental claims. The confidential arbitration involved 18 different reinsurance treaties and documents spanning three decades. Ms. Dakin-Grimm also is former co-chair of Milbank's diversity committee and has organized roundtables to discuss the challenges of women in reinsurance. Before joining Milbank, she was an attorney at Chadbourne & Parke L.L.P.

Advice to young women: "A certain amount of shameless doesn't hurt. I saw a startling statistic that, right now, entering classes in college are close to 60% girls. It startled me, because they're not 60% of the population. Girls do very well in school, and law schools are churning out 50% or more women graduates, and these people come into the workforce in law firms and other related jobs. Eight years later, typically, they've left the practice. There are a number of reasons for that, but some of the reasons have to do with the fact that you typically get out of law school in your 20s and want to spend the next 10 years after that having a family. There's a tremendous tension between pushing your career and having a family. That exists in any field. Leaving that issue aside, with some exceptions, a lot of the women who come out of law school are better than they know and are less likely to tout themselves and blow their own horn. They're more easily disillusioned and don't see the long term that they might in fact have a future as a partner at the law firm. I would like to encourage some of our really talented young women to realize that they're really fabulous."