Get to Know Crowell & Moring's New Chair: Angela Styles
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Spring is about new beginnings, so for the start of the season we're featuring Crowell & Moring's newly elected chair, Angela Styles. We caught up with her in her DC office during her fourth day on the job.
Angela joined Crowell & Moring in 2007 after serving as Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy in OMB at the White House, a position for which she was confirmed by the Senate. She's in her third term on Crowell's management board, is co-chair of the government contracts practice, and serves as chair of the firm's executive committee.
Just before we started talking, we snapped Angela with the immediate past firm chair, Kent Gardiner. Kent served as chairman for nine years, during which revenue grew from $195.5M to $368.2M. The firm opened new offices in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Anchorage and Cheyenne, and started strategic partnerships in the Middle East. Attorney head count also grew from 339 to 488.
Growth has "been very much a key to our success," Angela says. She tells us the firm will continue to grow smartly. For lawyers advancing internally, one focus is getting them a broader experience. Different ways of doing so include working at a client through secondment, or joining the firm for a number of years, after which the firm would support the lawyer in seeking a position in the government and then returning to the firm later in their career.
How does the changing legal environment change how law firms are managed? Angela points out that law firms have to operate more like businesses. That comes with having an understanding of how their clients are doing business. For instance, she says, many of Crowell's clients are coming up with creative ways to manage their spaces—such as hoteling, smaller offices and collaborative spaces—and the firm is working on how to adapt some of those ideas to a law firm environment.
Angela came to DC for the first time at 19 to intern for Congressman Joe Barton (R-TX), above. The second woman ever to be elected to head Crowell & Moring in its 36-year history, she says she hasn't felt disadvantaged by her gender. Getting more diversity in law firm leadership, she says, will take time and effort: mentors, sponsorship programs like the one the firm has, and current leaders recognizing that you can make a difference in somebody's life by giving them an opportunity with a client or a leadership role.
What you didn't know about Angela:
- Her father was a corporate lawyer and her brother and older sister are lawyers. She's photographed above at age 10 with her father at the MGM Grand.
- She has a 9-year-old Australian Cattle Dog.
- Her favorite legal movie is To Kill a Mockingbird.
- She loves visiting her family's home on the river in New Braunfels, TX. She and her husband are both from Texas.
- Her first job was as a lifeguard.
- She goes running almost every morning.