Spotlight interview with Margaret Manetti of Codilis & Associates
I met with one of our new members, Margaret Manetti of Codilis & Associates. We had a nice lunch and talked about her practice, family and interests.
Q: What area of law do you practice?
A: Consumer Finance Litigation. We represent the plaintiff side, the banking industry, in foreclosures and real estate actions.
Q: What do you enjoy about it?
A: There has been so much new law--appellate decisions, Supreme Court cases and rules, and new statutes. It has really evolved and touched on issues that affect the spectrum of litigation.
Q: Tell me about your family?
A: I’m married to a lawyer, who I actually met at the Daley Center, and have worked with the last 6 1/2 years. We left Chicago for Naperville just before Louis, our four-year-old son, was born. We also have a daughter, Patricia, who is 2 ½. I love working with my husband—we bounce ideas off each other, we give each other advice, and, we just get to be around each other.
Q: Have you managed to “balance” your work and family life?
A: First, my husband is great and a total partner. We have been fortunate enough to have family close by. And very importantly, my firm offered flexible hours. This allowed me to adjust to being a working mom and I was able to work mid-time until I decided, after accepting a promotion and the responsibility with that, to come back full time. And sure it can get stressful, but I realize that I am blessed to have the “problems” that I have.
Q: What advice do you have for other working moms?
A: Reach out to each other for support, advice, and a break.
Q: What advice did you get?
A: The advice I received from my family was not to go back to work, so while I did not listen to that, I did ask and get the flex hours. Professionally, I did not know many other working moms when I first went back.
Q: What got you interested in joining Women and the Law?
A: I wanted to reach out to other women lawyers that I have not met yet, including outside of the Chicago-land area. I also like that WATL seems to offer opportunities other Bar Associations do not and it is deeply committed to women lawyer’s influence on the law.
Q: What are you hoping to contribute to the committee?
A: I like to write, so I am hoping to write some book reviews, podcast reviews and perhaps interview some interesting women leaders in the law. Women leadership development is something I am interested in and that I want to further.
Q: Tell me about your involvement in Women’s Bar Association of Illinois?
A: I became active in that just over a year ago. Right now I am a co-chair of the top women in law leadership award and on the committee for judicial evaluations. Last year, I completed the Leadership Institute with Andrea Kramer, and now, as an alumni of the program, I am working to develop it for the next year.
Q: Do you have any fun summer travel plans?
A: Lots of Naperville with the family. Beyond that, just a quick trip to friend’s house in the southwest area of Michigan.
Q: What women’s issue is of most interest or concern to you?
A: Equality in the workforce but not just limited to the field of law. I want there to be opportunities for my daughter that were not necessarily available to me or to those working before me.
Q: What are your top three book recommendations?
A: Breaking Through Bias, by Andrea Kramer and Al Harris; Lean In, by Sheryl Sandberg; and Presence, by Amy Cuddy.