Women's Leadership InitiativeQ&A with Jyllian Bradshaw

Jyllian Bradshaw is a senior associate in the firm’s Labor and Employment Department. Her practice focuses on education law, collective bargaining, administrative proceedings, policy advisement and labor relations. Jyllian's background and experience enable her to provide practical and strategic advice to clients with respect to their employment issues, labor relations concerns, education policies and procedures, as well as with collective bargaining matters

Describe a pivotal moment that influenced your career path.

During my time as a high school teacher, I proposed to introduce an ethics class to the District’s curriculum. While teaching that subject to 10th, 11th and 12th graders, I found that young people were captivated by the difficult questions that often arose during our lessons. They would talk, argue, opine and wrestle with ethical dilemmas, often frustrated by the idea that there was “no right answer.” It was during that time that I fell in love with the law – the ever-changing “right answer” to life’s legal and ethical questions. It brought me from the classroom to the courtroom, so to speak.

What advice would you give to women just starting out at a law firm? What are some important first steps they can take to lay the groundwork for a successful career?

Relationships. Create them, nurture them and treasure them. Though we are in the business of conflict, building strong relationships founded on civility will help to handle disagreements without being disagreeable. I have found that seasoned attorneys are more than willing to grab a cup of coffee and share nuggets of wisdom they have picked up over the course of their careers. Who doesn’t love getting to know someone over coffee?

What is one must-read book for female business leaders?

“The Power of One,” by Bryce Courtenay. Though not particularly business-oriented, it is a beautifully written story about perseverance, resilience and the ability for one person to overcome what appears to be insurmountable obstacles. It is a personal favorite.

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

If I wasn’t an attorney, I would be an author.