Jamie Gershkow, JD ’12, became a partner at Stradley Ronon in January 2021. After graduating with honors from Kline School of Law, Gershkow joined Stradley Ronon, where she has focused her practice on investment management.
A native of Pennsylvania, Gershkow advises investment companies, independent trustees and investment advisers on regulatory and compliance matters and the applicability and interpretation of securities laws.
As part of Kline Law’s ongoing series “Alumnae Rising,” Gershkow answered a few questions about her journey to becoming a partner and her experience at Kline Law.
Why did you choose to study at Kline Law?
I chose to study at Drexel because of the sense of community. I appreciated how invested the professors and students were in the school and the overall sense of collegiality I felt. For example, one of the deans had personally held my hard copy acceptance letter knowing I was attending Accepted Students Day so they could personally give the letter to me and introduce themselves. This was one of many examples of professors working to ensure I had an impactful and personal experience from the beginning.
Please tell me about your journey to becoming a partner. Was becoming a partner your goal at graduation/early in your career? If so, what steps did you take to meet that goal? If not, what led you to the partner track?
My goal at graduation was a bit more open-ended: working hard and learning as much as I could early on in my career to provide opportunities in the future. Early on, I realized that the opportunity I wanted to pursue was advancing in private practice to become a partner. What led me to this goal was the complexity of the work that private practice has to offer and the colleagues with whom I had the opportunity to work.
The steps I took to meet this goal have changed and evolved throughout my career. At a junior associate level, I focused on taking every opportunity to work with as many people as I could at the firm and gain experience on various types of clients. I tried to find ways to dive into particular projects to gain a deeper understanding of the federal securities laws and of the client’s business and our representation of the client. I also focused on making myself available whenever attorneys needed assistance, whether the work was billable or nonbillable.
As I progressed to a mid-level and senior associate, I tried to focus on expanding my role and becoming more integral in the firm’s representation of specific clients or practice areas. My role on certain client teams also evolved, and I focused on developing skills related to leading and managing client teams and interfacing directly with clients. Additionally, I sought ways to become more involved in the firm through joining various committees. Lastly, I focused on becoming more involved in the larger investment management community and raising my profile in the industry by attending, planning, and speaking at industry events and conferences, taking leadership roles in industry groups, and authoring client articles or industry publications.
What advice would you give a student or alumni interested in becoming a partner?
Find your sponsors at the firm. These are the people who will advocate on your behalf as you reach partner level. In addition to doing great legal work, having people that will actively support you in the room where decisions are made is invaluable. It is important to take the time to find those people at the firm and form relationships with them. Also, take advantage of the opportunities that are provided to you and seize other opportunities that interest you—whether that is working on a new type of client on which you are unfamiliar, working with a person at the firm with whom you have not worked, or attending industry events and conferences. These can all provide valuable, and sometimes unexpected, experiences and benefits.
What are the main skill sets you need to thrive as a partner?
An ability to problem-solve, taking into consideration the client’s specific business goals and needs. For example, rather than responding to a client that a particular path they wish to pursue is not available to them, respond to that client by providing workable alternatives or solutions for their consideration.
What has been your experience in practicing your area of law? What is something that’s excited, surprised, or challenged you.
Something that has excited me is seeing how my role and substantive legal knowledge has evolved since I first started at Stradley Ronon—from assisting on portions of projects at the direction of a senior associate or partner to working directly with clients and presenting at client meetings or conferences and stepping into a leadership and management role on client teams.
Something that has surprised me is the meaningful and long-lasting friendships that I have formed with colleagues.
Something that has challenged me is helping clients navigate new and novel regulatory developments impacting the way in which mutual funds operate.
Now that you’ve made partner, what’s next on your horizon?
Next on my horizon is continuing efforts to support and increase diversity and inclusion, both within Stradley Ronon and the larger investment management community. I also plan to continue to support and advise clients on upcoming regulatory developments impacting their businesses and help facilitate product innovation in the asset management industry through advising on the legal and regulatory matters necessary to implement such innovation.