In our second issue of Women to Watch, we spotlight Lynn Olmert – a workers’ compensation attorney in MGC’s Atlanta office.
Hidden Figures – a name with double-meaning. The story of Katherine Johnson and the Black women of NASA that were instrumental in launching the first Americans into space represents the tumbling of prejudice and bias in the workplace; these women not only calculated complex equations by-hand, but their story remained hidden for decades. “I love that [Katherine Johnson’s] story was finally told,” says Lynn Olmert, workers’ compensation attorney in MGC’s Atlanta office. “She is true inspiration to all women who have had to overcome the distractions of unequal treatment and discrimination, and push forward to reach the goals they set for themselves.”
As a figure behind MGC’s diversity and inclusion initiative, Belong @ MGC, Lynn understands the challenges that diverse women face not only in the legal industry, but in all workplaces; she names a few: “Underestimation of our skills and unconscious bias in business development, hiring practices and consideration for leadership roles.” Belong @ MGC launched in 2019 alongside of WIN @ MGC, the firm’s women’s initiative, with the synonymous goal of fostering togetherness and promoting leadership despite gender, race or background. “It is a demonstration of the firm’s commitment to supporting and promoting women within the firm,” Lynn accounts. “It also provides a safe place for dialogue about concerns that impact women.”
Lynn took an interesting path to her now bustling legal career. “My Dad was a prominent surgeon in Atlanta, and he always wanted his children to follow suit,” she recalls. As a pre-med student at the University of Virginia, Lynn dove into government and foreign affairs following a turn of events. “After my brother made the decision to pursue medicine, the pressure to be a doctor lifted, freeing me up to pursue something that I felt more passionate about.” Upon graduating with her Juris Doctor from the University of Maryland, she began practicing law in the late 80’s. “There were no senior female attorneys in any of the firms in which I worked. However, I started my career clerking for a Judge in Maryland and had the opportunity to watch a number of very successful female litigators (mostly prosecutors and criminal defense attorneys). They inspired me and helped to develop my litigation style.” Today, Lynn has extensive trial experience in general liability cases and belongs to a lengthy list of professional organizations, including the Defense Research Institute where she acts as the diversity liaison to the workers’ compensation section.
How’d she get here? “Professionalism, perseverance and great lawyering skills,” she says. Her advice? “Vigorously represent your clients without sacrificing professionalism and collegiality. Remember that these two things are not mutually exclusive.”