A Chapter of the Women's Bar Association of the State of New York (WBASNY)


Interview of the Month


An Interview with Angela Morcone Giannini

Susan L. Pollet
Chair of the Archive and Historian Committee


Q:  Please tell us about your involvement with the WWBA-why you became a member, and how you have contributed to the organization over the years.

A:  I have been a member of the WWBA for over 20 years.  I was introduced to the organization by my law partner, Lucille Fontana.  Initially, I volunteered for different events and then took on the role of co-chair of the Litigation committee.  That committee had been dormant for years and I was active in resurrecting it with Past Presidents Donna Frosco and Lisa Bluestein.  Proudly, today Litigation continues to be an active committee in our organization.  I started the Litigation Tip column for our newsletter which informs our members of new statutes, cases and reminders on litigation tips.  I have also held positions of recording secretary, state delegate, chair of the Legislation committee and this year, treasurer.


Q:  In your opinion, why is it important to be involved in the WWBA?

A:  The WWBA offers a tremendous amount of resources to its members.  Some of these resources include CLE, discussion panels and mentoring.  Socially, it allows you to meet other attorneys in our community both in your area of practice and in other areas who you might not otherwise meet.  There are many long-lasting friendships that have developed from this organization.  Most importantly, it is an organization that allows you to participate based upon your personal situation in life.  I can share from experience that as a young associate my participation was less both due to my own family commitments and work commitments.  Once becoming a partner and as my children grew up, my participation increased and was welcomed by the association. 


Q:  Please tell us about your legal career, and how it has developed?

A:  While at Fordham University, I took an elective course, Constitutional Law. I was a psychology major and thought for sure I would go on for my Masters and perhaps consider school psychology.  After our first exam, my professor asked to see me after class.  I didn’t know what to expect and of course, thought maybe I bombed his exam. Just the opposite, he told me that I had the highest grade in the class and said I strongly recommend you apply to law school. While at Pace Law School, I had the privilege of interning for the late Honorable Judge Isaac Rubin at the Appellate Division Second Department.  I also was a summer intern at the prestigious firm of Clark, Gagliardi & Miller, P.C. and later was hired by the firm.   I was fortunate to become a partner at CGM and worked there for 28 years learning each day under the guidance of renowned trial attorney, Henry Miller and esteemed plaintiff’s attorney, Lucille Fontana.  On May 1st of this year, Lucille and I started our own firm Fontana Giannini LLP. 


Q:  What would you like to accomplish in your career going forward?

A: Starting my own firm is an exciting, challenging new adventure.  It is not something I really envisioned when I became a lawyer. While it is still very new, it has proved to be very rewarding.  I hope to continue to represent victims of accidents in the areas of personal injury, premise, auto, labor and medical malpractice for many years.  Over the years, I have mentored many law students, and one day would like to teach a law class and have a role in our court system.


Q:  What do you think are the biggest challenges for women lawyers today?

A:  In the last 25 years women have continued to make strides in our profession due to the tenacity, professionalism and talent of the women of previous generations.  Years ago, I participated as a group leader in a state bar committee program exploring balanced lives in the practice of law.  The group involved both men and women and while there were many important findings, I think what most impressed me was the overwhelming feeling amongst the participants that there really is no such thing as a balanced life.  It is a fluid experience both based on our areas of practice and our own personal lives.  I think recognizing this early in your career, especially as women, can make the practice much more doable and rewarding.


Q:  How have you managed to juggle your career with your family life?

A:  I was very fortunate to have a great family network of support as I started my law career.  In fact, I would like to dedicate my interview to my Dad, Anthony J. Morcone, who passed away last April.  It is a great loss for my family but his (along with my Mom’s) nurture, guidance and encouragement, are responsible for my family’s achievements and successes.  My husband and I learned quickly in raising our boys that there was no set way to juggle it all and each year brought its own challenges.  I think one key lesson I learned, which is not easy, is to set your own priorities and not to let the lifestyle of others in the profession dictate what works for you.


Q:  What activities are you involved in outside of the law?

We recently purchased a summer home which has proved to be a great weekend get-away!  It introduced me to antiquing and tag sales.  I really like the idea of re-purposing items and the DIY projects have been a lot of fun.  We also purchased bikes . . . my husband’s idea for exercise . . . ughh . . . but actually, it proved to be a good outdoor workout.  As for upcoming projects, I am in charge of organizing an extended family event this year where we will donate our time to prepare, cook and serve food for those in need.


PO Box 926, Hartsdale, NY 10530
Phone: (914) 505-6045
executivedirector@wwbany.org

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