Cathy Trent-Vilim

Cathy Trent-Vilim, Partner

What is your definition of success?

For me, success has two key components.  Professionally, I think there is some truth to the maxim, ‘Do what you love and success will follow.’  To the extent I have any success as an attorney, it is because I love what I do (at least most days).

What’s the most unique part about working at LDM?

The culture, which is reflective of its people.  Even after 15 years, I remain impressed at how hard LDM works to live by its core values of Excellence, Integrity, Service, Balance and Collegiality.  Having spent the first 7 years of my practice working elsewhere, I recognize how privileged I am to practice law with a group of attorneys who are not just exceptional at what they do, but who also support one another professionally and personally.

What’s one thing — either industry-related or not — you learned in the last month?

I wanted to learn a new skill completely unrelated to my professional life and started taking piano lessons several months ago.  I am learning that music theory is way harder for me to understand than the law.

What’s the best advice you can give to someone who is just starting their career?

Don’t underestimate the importance and value of a strong mentor-mentee relationship.  I have been fortunate in my career to have had some great mentors.  They gave generously of their time, freely shared their knowledge of the law, and taught me the lessons they have learned throughout their own careers.  Garnering that knowledge and wisdom required a proactive effort on my part.  But the time I spent fostering and nurturing those relationships has paid out in spades.

What are you currently reading, listening to or binge-watching?

I am currently reading two books.

Substantively, I am reading Wisdom of the Bullfrog: Leadership Made Simple (But Not Easy).  It was written by Admiral William McRaven, a former U.S. Navy Seal.  “Bullfrog” is the title given to the Navy Seal who has served the longest on active duty.  Although the book is derived from Admiral McRaven’s 37 years as a Seal, including more than a decade as the Bullfrog, the lessons and wisdom he learned from his military leadership extend far beyond the armed services.

For fun, I am reading a book by Mary Stone.  She has several thriller and mystery series, each centered around a strong heroine who is a current or former FBI agent.  They are easy, entertaining reads but also well-written.  I just started a new one, and I’ve read so many I don’t even know which one I’m on.