October 13, 2013

Alumni Committee Corner: A Closer Look at Mary Devlin Capizzi

I joined the firm as a lateral first-year associate in the Chicago office. It wasn’t planned. I became engaged to be married about six months after accepting another job offer on the East Coast. My soon-to-be husband was pursuing his PhD at Notre Dame, and we agreed that we would live in Chicago after we were married. I had never been to Chicago before, had no contacts there, knew little about the law firm market, yet found myself interviewing for a new job at firms in Chicago nine months after my law school graduation. I had worked both in New York City and Atlanta and found the pace in one of these cities too fast and all-consuming while the pace in the other seemed too slow. Chicago and GCD were just right.

I loved everything about Chicago and my experience as a young corporate associate at the firm. I met wonderful people and was mentored by many. In particular, I recall the kindness and patience extended to me by Joe Greenberg, a young partner who had the office next to mine. Joe checked up on me regularly and was always willing to take my questions or think through with me a range of corporate legal issues. I also was fortunate to work with a number of outstanding women who went out of their way to make sure I was gaining skills and keeping busy. These same women allayed my fears when I nervously announced, about 9 1/2 months after joining the firm, that I was expecting my first child. They could not have been more supportive and encouraging. They even planned a fabulous baby shower for me. I will never forget that.

My husband’s PhD degree eventually brought him a university position in Washington, DC and I transferred from the firm’s Chicago office to it’s DC office. There was not much corporate work in DC at the time so I accepted a small assignment from Jim Jamieson involving an emerging pharmaceutical industry issue. This little project became a significant representation and marked the beginning of a new chapter in my career—one in which I have primarily represented life sciences companies and industry consortia. In this work, Jim Jamieson has been a wonderful mentor and partner. He is a gentleman and stellar businessman and lawyer and I am grateful that he reached out to give me my first pharmaceutical industry assignment.

The pace and environment of the firm and my practice have been a good fit for me. I am grateful to be part of a firm where I have been able to keep busy serving clients while balancing other interests outside of work. My life inside and outside the firm are never dull, and that makes life much more interesting and even fun. Outside the office, my husband and I are usually doing something related to one or all of our six children, such as helping coach a team, serving on a school board, driving to a practice, volunteering at a community event or reviewing a homework assignment (ranging from AP history to preK coloring). I also enjoy repeatedly subjecting my five daughters to Jane Austen’s writings in the hope that none turn out as silly or imprudent as Lydia Bennet.
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