In our first issue of Women to Watch, we spotlight Emily Bishop – a litigation attorney in MGC’s Richmond office.
Born in Christiansburg, Virginia, Emily Bishop is the daughter of two former police officers who openly encouraged her to not follow in their footsteps. “I wanted to go into law enforcement and eventually work in forensics,” she says. A graduate of the University of Richmond T.C. Williams School of Law, Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, Emily has a resume packed with accolades, professional associations, three degrees and over a decade of legal experience. One would say, she was made for this field. “While I don’t recall one specific moment when I made the decision to become a lawyer, I do recall always being completely stunned at the point in Matlock when he’d have that ‘ah-ha’ moment and drop the hammer.”
Emily attributes her accomplishments to three personal qualities: “Self-awareness, wit and a willingness to be a little uncomfortable at times.”
Emily entered the legal field at a pivotal time; as it becomes increasingly apparent that women attorneys are significantly under-represented, firms (and other top organizations, for that matter) are diligently working to address the cause and implement change. “Having an open dialogue that is ongoing is a big accomplishment,” she says. MGC debuted their WIN @ MGC initiative in 2019 with the commitment to recruit, retain and advance women in the legal industry, as well as to provide a platform for engagement, development and leadership opportunities for women at MGC. “Having WIN @ MGC and prioritizing women’s exposure to opportunities in and of itself helps to support and promote women,” Emily adds.
Along with her litigation practice, Emily is a fitness instructor and dog sitter (which she admits, is more like “dog borrowing”). When asked about an influential mentor in her growth and development, she had a unique answer: “So many people have helped me along the way and have been informal mentors. Most influential though, is not a lawyer,” Emily says. “I teach fitness classes at a boutique gym focused on women. The owner is a wife, mother of three small kids, sister to two and daughter. She runs the business, teaches classes and still manages to be kind, inspirational and helpful to those around her. She has been extremely supportive of me and also gave me an outlet by letting me come teach for her. That has made me more confident, which has spilled over into my legal practice.” With that being said, Emily’s advice for other women in her field relates back to self-care, something she practices tremendously: “Make self-care a priority. Whether it’s going to the gym, reading, spending time with your people…find non-work time. And make sure you sleep! You can’t pour from an empty cup.”