CHARLOTTE – Though the Charlotte office of national law firm Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP has always prided itself on supporting the advancement of women within the firm and the legal profession at large, a number of recent firm and attorney honors indicate that the legal and business communities are beginning to take notice as well. In recent weeks, the firm has been recognized by Commercial Real Estate
Women (CREW) as an “Industry Innovator” in its 2008 Impact Awards, and been honored by Working Mother magazine as one of the nation’s 100 Best Companies. In addition, Terra K. Atkinson, a Charlotte-based partner, was recently elected Treasurer of the North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys.

“The recognition of our firm and its attorneys by these organizations is very gratifying and serves to reaffirm that the tools, programs and resources that Katten is offering its female attorneys are helpful in the quest to reach our full potential, both professionally and personally,” said Jill Dinerman, Katten’s Women’s Leadership Forum chair for the Charlotte office and an attorney in the Real Estate Practice.

Commercial Real Estate Women

CREW recognized Katten and its Women’s Leadership Forum (WLF), which is dedicated to helping Katten’s female attorneys advance and achieve both their professional and personal goals, for the numerous initiatives and events the WLF has launched to promote the advancement of women in real estate. The firm was honored during the 2008 CREW Network Convention and Marketplace, held October 15-18 in Houston. As one of only six Impact Award recipients nationally, Katten was also considered for CREW’s highest honor, the Achievement of Excellence Award, which was presented at the convention.

CREW Network is a professional association with an excess of 7,000 members in 60 chapters dedicated to advancing the success of women in commercial real estate, through chapter level functions, national conferences and ongoing education. The Network’s “Industry Innovator” category of the annual Impact Awards, recognizes an organization that fosters a culture of innovation, dedication to diversity, and the equal advancement of women and men in commercial real estate.

The firm’s Charlotte office in particular exemplifies CREW’s “Industry Innovator” criteria. Through real estate events hosted by CREW, WLF and Katten, their networks create business opportunities for the office as a whole. In early 2008, Charlotte real estate attorney Jill Dinerman conceived and executed a highly successful real estate event that attracted more than 400 members of the Charlotte commercial real estate community. Co-hosted with accounting firm Greer & Walker, the Real Estate ’08 event featured high-profile speakers from Bank of America and Wachovia, and served as an important industry-networking event. 

Profiled as one of the nation’s 100 Best Companies in Working Mother’s October 2008 issue, Katten is honored for helping women thrive at the firm by offering a variety of scheduling options to help employees balance both their family and work commitments, including part-time, flex-time, compressed work week and telecommuting. Working Mother also praised the efforts and success of the firm’s WLF. Evidence of the WLF’s success lies in the fact that 25 percent of the firm’s partners are women, including the co-managing partner of its Los Angeles office. In addition, Working Mother recognized Katten’s 12 weeks of fully paid maternity leave granted to all new mothers, and a sabbatical program in which, after five years of service, any attorney may take a month-long paid sabbatical to travel, pursue a personal goal or just relax.

North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys

Terra K. Atkinson was one of five Katten attorneys who founded the Charlotte chapter of the North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys (NCAWA) in 2005, and the chapter has now grown to more than 200 members. NCAWA’s mission is to increase the effective participation by women in the justice system, in public office, and within the legal profession; to promote the rights of women under the law; to promote the welfare of the women attorneys of North Carolina; and to promote and improve the administration of justice.

Ms. Atkinson concentrates her practice in residential mortgage banking matters, with an emphasis on issues unique to the wholesale and subprime lending industry. Her clients include national and regional mortgage lenders, correspondent lenders, mortgage servicers, multi-state mortgage brokers and mortgage insurers. Ms. Atkinson has extensive experience counseling clients on issues related to compliance with federal and state regulations affecting the mortgage banking industry including the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, Truth in Lending Act, and Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Katten is dedicated to the achievement of diversity within the firm as well as within the broader legal community. The firm actively promotes a diverse culture through recruitment, mentoring, training, professional development and public service programs. In 2004, Katten established the Women’s Leadership Forum to further the firm’s commitment to the strategic retention and advancement of women. Katten understands that a commitment to diversity not only assists with the recruitment and retention of talent, but also positively affects all aspects of its business.