Catherine Higgins Crawley: Saying Yes to Opportunity

Catherine Higgins Crawley
2024 Feature Nominations

Attorney at Law Magazine recently spoke with Catherine Higgins Crawley, a partner at Wicker Smith, about her practice and her outlook on the industry. 

AALM: When did you first know you wanted to become an attorney? What drew you to this career?

CHC: My family will say that I was always destined to be an attorney, but it didn’t really click for me until I began participating in debate clubs and mock trial. 

AALM: Who is your current mentor? What is the best lesson they’ve taught you so far?

CHC: I’ve had the benefit of being surrounded by supportive and insightful individuals, both in and out of the legal field. Holly Howanitz in particular has been a fantastic guide for me. All my mentors have taught me that complacency is a dirty word, and to say yes to opportunities and figure out the rest later. 

AALM: Who are some of your legal heroes? Why?

CHC: Oliver Babish, of the West Wing. Although fictional, his ability to kick into gear to do what he does best is admirable—not to mention he steals the show. 

AALM: How is the practice of law different than your expectations in law school?

CHC: Being an effective attorney is much more multifaceted and collaborative than any casebook or law school class reflects. The ability to manage your time, expectations, peers, staff, and clients is a skill that is not necessarily taught in law school, but certainly relevant to everyday life. 

AALM: What drew you to your current firm? How would you describe the culture there? 

CHC: I knew that I wanted to be a trial attorney, and I have had the privilege to learn from the fabulous and skilled litigators at Wicker Smith. We have a young, vibrant office where I am constantly learning new things from my colleagues—whether it be new appellate decisions or new restaurants to try. I am so grateful and honored to have been part of the 2022 partnership class.

AALM: With technology and an ever-global world, how do you see the legal profession evolving over your career? Do you believe this will be positive or negative?

CHC: The ability to digitally connect with clients, counsel, and friends is only a positive to me. The last few years have pushed the field forward, and allowed for more flexibility overall. I hope that the field continues to embrace the balance between in-person and remote work. I think we’ve all seen the benefits from being a bit more flexible with remote meetings, and I hope that continues on.

AALM: Working with senior partners what is a trait they have that you would like to carry through to the next generation of lawyers? 

CHC: I hope to carry forward the “institutional knowledge” that I see very experienced attorneys exhibit. That’s how I term the ability to recognize the true issues and make the tactical and strategic choices for a case that can only come with time and expertise in the field. 

AALM: What do you enjoy doing outside of work? 

CHC: My husband and I enjoy traveling, working out, and watching bad horror movies with our two corgis.

Attorney at Law Magazine

Attorney at Law Magazine is a national B2B trade publication for and about private practice attorneys. The magazine focuses on the industry, its events, happenings and the professionals and firms that drive its success. The editorial is a collaboration of interviews with professionals, industry expert penned columns and articles about advancing your legal practice through marketing, practice management and customer service.

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