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SPOTLIGHT: Nanette M. Cichon, Project Assistant

In celebration of Women’s History Month, D’Amore Law Group showcases the inspiration and expertise of the women professionals who elevate our firm and its client service.

What woman in the firm or the business community inspires you and why?  

That would be my Aunt Paulette. My family came from humble beginnings in Chicago, and women weren’t flooding the workforce in the early 1950s. Many women didn’t even consider higher education. My aunt put herself through college in the 1960s -70s, delivering pizzas and working odd jobs in the computer field (before computers even were a thing), then put tackled grad school. When she first began her career, she was one of only two women of five thousand personnel at her company. 

Aunt Paulette was the only woman in her MBA class when she went to Northern Illinois University to earn her MBA in Finance. She put her husband through law school, went to Harvard, and eventually landed in DC, where her next job was at the White House for the Clinton Administration. She managed and oversaw the Y2K systems. 

I remember her always wearing fabulous Hermes scarves, blowing in the wind as she drove up to our house in her Volvo convertible. I admired her sophistication, glamor and assuredness. As a little girl, she was my inspiration and to this day, I admire her tenacity, intelligence, and strength. While I feel her loss most days, I’m always happy to share her story with someone new. To learn more about Aunt Paulette, please click here. 

If you could have dinner with anyone alive or dead, who would it be and why? 

Marilyn Monroe. She was one of the first woman producers and started her own corporation against many obstacles of her time. She was not only beautiful, but severely misunderstood, and dealt with a lot of harsh realities in 1950s Hollywood. She is extraordinary even by today’s standards. 

What led you to a career in law? 

I’ve always had a fascination for justice and to know the mechanics of how the law works. When I was in college in Madison, Wisconsin, I studied in the law library – mostly because it was quiet, and everyone was so intense! My degree is in Communications, however, when I first got out of school, I shot depositions for a lawyer in Chicago. After moving to Portland, I made a lateral move in my career and decided to pursue my interest in law. I enjoy being motivated by smart people. 

How is being a female professional in the legal industry advantageous? 

We are resilient and have a high capacity to handle many tasks at once. The first woman attorney I worked for shared with me that when she first started out in the 1960s, she was advised to go through a different door than the male attorneys. Now, she barrels through the front door with pride. I’m a strong believer in equal rights and all voices should be heard. It makes sense that women should balance out the world of law.

What advice (professional or personal) would you give your younger self or the next generation of women leaders? 

NEVER give up! Even if your career path is a little unorthodox, you can still succeed. Plan and follow a succinct, organized path, and execute it bit by bit. I was all over the place when I was younger. I wanted to do everything except plotting towards a specific career direction. When I slowed down and thought strategically about where I would benefit the most in a career, I picked law. I love to help people and guide them through what might be the worst times of their lives and in some small way help to make their lives better.

To learn more about Nanette, please click here.

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