I have been in the legal profession as a lawyer, consultant and thought leader for more than four decades. I was one of the first people to specialize in lawyers’ professional development and retention and in advancing women into leadership, and I remain a leading expert on mentoring and sponsorship as means to guide, support and transform professional careers.
In response to the evolving needs of my clients, most of my practice now is helping individuals and firms design strategies for retirement. Never before has the need for strategic support for retirement planning been so apparent or urgent. People who have achieved successful careers are wondering what they will do next, and firms are grappling with how to manage succession and retirement of their partners, leaders and executives. It has been exciting and fulfilling to work with professionals as they built their careers. Now I support them by helping them create retirements that are right for them, their families, and their firms.
Throughout my career, I have held leadership and board positions in numerous bar associations, women’s organizations, and professional associations in the US and internationally, and I am currently Vice-Chair of the National Legal Mentoring Consortium. I have co-founded and led several important organizations, including the Hastings Leadership Academy for Women and the Professional Development Consortium, and have served on the editorial and advisory boards of many publications, agencies and non-profits.
In recognition of my contributions to the legal profession, I was elected a Fellow of both the College of Law Practice Management and the American Bar Foundation, which honors the top 1% of lawyers who have promoted the highest principles and welfare of the profession.
My volunteer work includes serving as a mentor in Law Without Walls, a collaborative, global law school program that accelerates innovation in legal education and practice. I am also on the Bay Area Advisory Board of Facing History and Ourselves, a global education organization that uses history to help students learn how to use knowledge and compassion to fight bigotry and hatred.
I am a frequent keynote speaker and presenter, and am the author of numerous books and publications, which you can find on this website.
I received my J.D. from Hastings College of the Law, M.A. from the University of Miami, and A.B. from Smith College.
I was a litigator and trial attorney for 34 years, most recently as a partner with McDermott Will & Emery in its Silicon Valley office. I now train and coach lawyers. Ida was instrumental in helping me chart my post-law-practice career plan and with identifying, addressing, and navigating important transition issues. Her sage guidance derives from years of helping and guiding lawyers and from her deep understanding and knowledge of the legal services industry. I highly recommend Ida for any lawyer contemplating or in the process of ending his/her law practice and transitioning to a new chapter. Her assistance will prove invaluable.
-- Dave Dolkas, formerly with McDermott Will & Emery, now Dave Dolkas Teaching and Coaching