Face to face: Patricia Lee

Headshot by Patricia Lee
“It’s not how you start the race that matters, it’s how you finish it.”

Partner at Hutchison & Steffen and Nevada Supreme Court, Seat F
Hutchinson & Steffen

business type: Legal
Based in: Las Vegas, Nevada
Comes from: Jeonju, South Korea

Years org. was in Nevada: 26
Years organized in Nevada: 20
Employees in Nevada: 105

How did you come to your job?

After undergraduate studies, I had the special honor of meeting and working with the late, great Rosa Parks. We worked together to build a computer learning center aimed at reaching out to inner city youth to bridge the digital divide. As we chatted she asked me if I had any other goals in life and I told her I was thinking about going to law school to which she replied “Baby if you want to go to law go to law school!! “If Rosa Parks tells you to go to law school, you go to law school.

What contributed to your success?

Mentoring, encouragement, opportunities and hard work [have been instrumental]. If someone opens the door for you, go through.

What career advice would you give to someone just starting out in your industry?

Work hard, be a standout, develop your own style as a litigator, always, always be respectful and ethical. It takes years to build a good reputation and few wrong decisions to ruin it.

What is the best moment of your career?

Aside from landing the dream job of my life at Hutchison & Steffen straight out of law school, I would say that being named a judge on the Nevada Supreme Court is certainly the icing on the cake of my legal career. I’m still pinching myself.

What would the title of your autobiography be?

“Lift while we climb.”

What leaders do you look up to?

There are too many to name in an interview. I read Malcolm X’s autobiography in high school and it was life changing. When I was in high school, I heard Nelson Mandela speak at the Los Angeles Colosseum and it changed my life. I met and worked with Rosa Parks after graduating from USC and it was life changing… I could write a book about the people who inspired me.

What do you hope future generations can learn from your professional journey?

that you can Don’t let anyone tell you “You’re not ready,” “Not good enough,” or “Wait your turn.” You can do it; and you can do it now. Excuses will always be there for you. opportunity not. Carpe Diem!