About Betsy

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Elizabeth Munnell  (“Betsy“, to her clients and colleagues) was a partner for almost 25 years at Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge LLP (now Locke Lord, LLP). One of the pioneers in Edwards & Angell’s Boston office, Betsy joined her firm as a partner in 1985, six years out of law school, with a substantial book of business she had developed as a young associate at Choate Hall & Stewart. She was among the core group of “rainmakers” responsible for the growth of the Firm’s nationally recognized media and communications finance practice and has decades of experience representing lending institutions, private equity funds and businesses in structuring sophisticated debt and equity financings.

In addition to building a national practice, Betsy was one of the chief architects of her firm’s diversity program, chairing the Boston office’s first diversity committee and playing a critical role on EAPD’s firm-wide committee. She also chaired EAPD’s highly regarded Women’s Initiative, through which she co-founded the Firm’s first peer mentoring program, organized annual retreats, and created a business development curriculum offering practical skills training to the Firm’s women attorneys.

In 2009, Betsy embarked on a new career as a lawyer coach and business development consultant, drawing on her 30 years of experience and law practice growth to provide career guidance to attorneys of all ages and experience.

Betsy remains an outspoken advocate for women and minorities in the legal profession. A vocal presence online (including her blog), Betsy is a frequent contributor to the ongoing debate on the future of legal education and practice.  She favors renovating law school core requirements and associate training programs to include intensive instruction in finance, business strategies and other critical practical skills.

May 10, 2018 Orrick Finance Skills Program

May 10, 2018 Orrick Finance Skills Program

In 2015, Betsy partnered with Matt Rubins, a successful venture capitalist, angel investor and education entrepreneur, to develop a one-of-a-kind business education program based on their belief that the best way to become a true “trusted advisor” is to understand the client’s business. The program is centered on a single complex case study that guides participating lawyers through the life of an acquisition and its debt financing (from term sheet to earnout dispute), requiring them to apply the finance, business strategies and valuation concepts they learn from Matt to the interpretation, negotiation and amendment of legal documents. This approach assures that participating lawyers will fully comprehend the critical role of business fluency in delivering superior legal work and building profitable client relationships. (Betsy and Matt recently conducted the program in New York for Orrick’s multi-office Senior Associates Academy, a program managed by Simon Colley at TrustLabs. At right, the TrustLabs team photograph, with Matt Rubins on the far right.)

Betsy is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. At HLS, she serves as a Visiting J.D. Adviser in the Office for Career Services. In collaboration with OCS and the HLS Women’s Law Association, Betsy offers a spring semester career coaching program for women law students transitioning to large firm practice, with the goal of maximizing their success in their summer jobs and in the first, crucial months of practice. She has also coached women students at Boston College Law School and Boston University Law School. Betsy serves on the Board of the American Bar Association’s Legal Career Central and on the Advisory Board of Suffolk University Law School’s Institute on Law Practice Technology. She is a former Trustee of the Massachusetts Bar Foundation and a member of the Boston Bar Foundation’s Society of Fellows. Betsy has served on the Boston Bar Association’s Task Force on the Future of the Profession. She has also consulted extensively to The Fullbridge Program, a coaching-intensive XBA business education program for law firm associates, advising on law program content, marketing strategies and brand awareness.

Like her husband, also a lawyer, Betsy grew up in New York City. They live in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and have three daughters, aged 28, 23 and 20, an anxious but irresistible rescue dog and a beautiful, opinionated sun conure parrot.

 

Career Coaching for Lawyers:  Testimonials from Clients and Colleagues

“I engaged Betsy when I returned to a law firm after 15 years practicing in house. I could not have been more pleased. Betsy devised a well-organized plan for me that included tips on networking, assistance with initiating a presence on social media and guidance on publishing thought leadership pieces in my area of expertise. Betsy made herself available at any time by phone and email and she was invaluable in helping me prepare for key client pitches. And, perhaps most importantly, as a former law partner who built a successful practice herself, Betsy understood that building a practice cannot be done in a day. She was incredibly supportive through the mental ups and downs of my efforts. I can highly recommend Betsy and her services.”

Recent Lateral Partner, Boston

2018-04-16T14:44:19+00:00

Recent Lateral Partner, Boston

“I engaged Betsy when I returned to a law firm after 15 years practicing in house. I could not have been more pleased. Betsy devised a well-organized plan for me that included tips on networking, assistance with initiating a presence on social media and guidance on publishing thought leadership pieces in my area of expertise. Betsy made herself available at any time by phone and email and she was invaluable in helping me prepare for key client pitches. And, perhaps most importantly, as a former law partner who built a successful practice herself, Betsy understood that building a practice cannot be done in a day. She was incredibly supportive through the mental ups and downs of my efforts. I can highly recommend Betsy and her services.”
April G

"Betsy is a 'must have’ advisor for anyone who requires an understanding of the practice of law, its evolution and future trends, and how to be effective within it. She possesses a rare combination of creativity, unrelenting inquisitiveness, analytical thinking and passion for client success."

April Gallagher, Global Head Strategic Marketing at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

2018-04-16T14:40:39+00:00

April Gallagher, Global Head Strategic Marketing at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

April G
"Betsy is a 'must have’ advisor for anyone who requires an understanding of the practice of law, its evolution and future trends, and how to be effective within it. She possesses a rare combination of creativity, unrelenting inquisitiveness, analytical thinking and passion for client success."
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“As a young corporate partner, Betsy built a practice that was at the top level of her peer group in Boston and may well have been the biggest practice of any woman lawyer in the city at the time. I am proud to have been her partner and to have witnessed firsthand her ability to take top quality legal skills to a whole new level through a combination of interpersonal qualities, a completely client-centric approach and an uncommon sense of industry focus.”

 Steve Meredith, Partner, Choate, Hall & Stewart

2018-04-16T14:53:59+00:00

 Steve Meredith, Partner, Choate, Hall & Stewart

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“As a young corporate partner, Betsy built a practice that was at the top level of her peer group in Boston and may well have been the biggest practice of any woman lawyer in the city at the time. I am proud to have been her partner and to have witnessed firsthand her ability to take top quality legal skills to a whole new level through a combination of interpersonal qualities, a completely client-centric approach and an uncommon sense of industry focus.”
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“I asked Betsy for strategic advice as I was turning the corner from senior associate to young partner. Having been a practicing lawyer herself for many years, Betsy’s advice is not fluff. Our conversations, and the planning work that resulted, have led to real improvements in my business development strategies and real clarification of my goals. Highly recommended.”

Ted Folkman, Partner, Murphy & King

2018-04-16T15:11:54+00:00

Ted Folkman, Partner, Murphy & King

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“I asked Betsy for strategic advice as I was turning the corner from senior associate to young partner. Having been a practicing lawyer herself for many years, Betsy’s advice is not fluff. Our conversations, and the planning work that resulted, have led to real improvements in my business development strategies and real clarification of my goals. Highly recommended.”
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“Betsy worked with each of the summer associates at Edwards Wildman to build a personal career plan to help us navigate our months at the firm, the coming year at school, and our first year of employment after law school. Through her wise, strategic, and practical guidance, Betsy has provided me with a wholly new perspective on networking and a distinct view on how to approach a multitude of professional situations. Her patience and authenticity are inspiring and have driven me to take a more active role in charting my professional course, expanding my network and ensuring that I stay an informed, engaged, and invaluable member of society and any employment team in which I take part.”

Walter Rodriguez, Associate, Locke Lord, LLP (formerly, Edwards Wildman & Palmer), Boston College Law School ’15

2018-04-16T15:20:10+00:00

Walter Rodriguez, Associate, Locke Lord, LLP (formerly, Edwards Wildman & Palmer), Boston College Law School ’15

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“Betsy worked with each of the summer associates at Edwards Wildman to build a personal career plan to help us navigate our months at the firm, the coming year at school, and our first year of employment after law school. Through her wise, strategic, and practical guidance, Betsy has provided me with a wholly new perspective on networking and a distinct view on how to approach a multitude of professional situations. Her patience and authenticity are inspiring and have driven me to take a more active role in charting my professional course, expanding my network and ensuring that I stay an informed, engaged, and invaluable member of society and any employment team in which I take part.”
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"Betsy is the only consultant in the legal industry who can coach for business development with credibility. Because she did it. She helped build an AmLaw 100 firm as an equity partner, focusing on debt and equity financing in the media/communication industries. She is that unique combination–one who can do and teach. Betsy understands the particular economics of the law firm business model and the elements of success: power and profitability."

Rina Mayman, AVP Legal Counsel, MFS Investment Management; Former Director of Professional Development, Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP

2018-04-16T14:47:37+00:00

Rina Mayman, AVP Legal Counsel, MFS Investment Management; Former Director of Professional Development, Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP

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"Betsy is the only consultant in the legal industry who can coach for business development with credibility. Because she did it. She helped build an AmLaw 100 firm as an equity partner, focusing on debt and equity financing in the media/communication industries. She is that unique combination–one who can do and teach. Betsy understands the particular economics of the law firm business model and the elements of success: power and profitability."