Female Powerbrokers Q&A: Saul Ewing's Debbie Spranger


Deborah Spranger is a vice chair of Saul Ewing LLP’s business and finance department, a co-chair of its life sciences practice group and a member of the firm’s seven-member executive committee. She focuses her practice on mergers and acquisitions, equity financings, licensing and general business transactions for life sciences and other manufacturing and technology companies.

Q: How did you break into what many consider to be an old boy’s network?

A: I don’t define myself in terms of my gender. My clients and colleagues are more likely to point out that I am the only woman in the room than I am to notice it myself. In the context of my work, it is simply not relevant. That being said, I do think I have been given more opportunities because I am a woman in a male-dominated practice area. And, Saul Ewing has actively sought to put more women in positions of influence.

Q: What are the challenges of being a woman at a senior level within a law firm?

A: I think people tend to perceive women as being younger than they really are. Youth is equated with inexperience and naivete. So, I often find myself in the ironic position of trying to convince my colleagues that I’m really not that young anymore! It can also be a challenge to take a strong position without being perceived as being bitchy or difficult...

Originally published in Law360 on April 8, 2014.

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Topics:  Career Development, Women in the Law, Young Lawyers

Published In: Professional Practice Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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