Women's Leadership InitiativeQ&A with Devan Flahive

Devan is in the firm's Litigation group. Her practice is focused on oil and gas, antitrust and litigation.

Describe a pivotal moment that influenced your career path.

I had been retained by the executive director of an energy industry trade association to develop an antitrust compliance policy for the group. During my presentation of this policy to the association’s Board, the largest business holding membership in the association expressed adamant opposition and threatened to terminate its membership if the association voted to adopt the antitrust policy. I realized that the member’s concern stemmed from a misconception that implementing the policy could create liability that otherwise didn’t exist. By addressing this concern, I was able to diffuse a tense situation, and even succeeded in changing that member’s vote on the policy to “yes.”

What advice do you wish you could give your younger self, just starting out in the legal field?

Take time to read the Rules of Civil Procedure when you aren’t scrambling to find the answer to a procedural question. 

How has your previous experience helped you in your current role at Porter Wright?

As a consultant to dairy businesses, my advice to farmers regarding commodity purchases and forage management had a measurable impact on the profitability of their agricultural operations. Now, in the context of being an attorney, I appreciate that my counsel doesn’t exist in a vacuum – clients similarly rely on me to navigate legal challenges that have a real effect on either their finances or their respective company’s finances. 

If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would he/she be and why?

David Boies – to learn from his successes in the courtroom and to listen to his litigation “war stories.” Although dinner may not suffice: I’d like to shadow him while he prepares for a trial!

Complete the sentence: “If I wasn’t an attorney, I would be a…”

Dairy farmer. Before I became a lawyer, my “clients” weighed over 1,000 pounds, never took a vacation, and spoke another language. It certainly wasn’t easy, but I cherished every day with the cows!