Eva Juncker: A Trailblazing Force in Law Redefining Excellence and Empowerment

Eva Juncker - Trailblazing Force in Law | CIPRIANI & WERNER | CIO Women Magazine

The legal landscape has undergone a transformative evolution in recent years, marked by the remarkable contributions of female trailblazers who have shattered glass ceilings and paved the way for others in the field. These extraordinary women have demonstrated unparalleled legal acumen and championed diversity and inclusion within their respective domains. 

One such figure, Eva N. Juncker, Cipriani and Werner Partner and Family Practice Co-Chair, stands out as one of the most influential and inspirational female trailblazers in law. With an impressive career marked by dedication, strategic prowess, and commitment, Eva Junker has become a beacon of empowerment, embodying the spirit of resilience and achievement in the legal profession. Her impact extends beyond her legal expertise as she continues to shape the narrative of success for aspiring legal professionals, particularly women, making her an exemplary figure in law.

Legal Journey

Motivated by a lifelong passion for debate and advocacy, Eva started her legal career early, driven by a dedication to civil rights and social activism. Overcoming financial challenges, Eva independently financed her law degree through multiple jobs, concurrently volunteering for a local HIV+/AIDS organization. The hurdles faced were financial and social, with a crucial support network of chosen family playing an instrumental role in bolstering her self-confidence. A pivotal turning point came when Eva met her spouse when she was 21 and a 1L in law school. 

About CIPRIANI & WERNER 

CIPRIANI & WERNER, a multidisciplinary law firm, stands as a legal powerhouse with over 180 professionals spread across 20 offices in 10 states and the District of Columbia in the Eastern U.S. Recognized for its client-centric ethos, the firm prioritizes comprehending clients’ needs before delivering exceptional results. Upholding the utmost integrity in practice and relationships, CIPRIANI & WERNER’s dedication to providing premier legal services cultivates enduring bonds with clients and attorneys. The firm’s distinctive approach solidifies its role as a trusted partner, excelling in local and regional legal matters.

CIPRIANI & WERNER’s mission is to attract, retain, support, and promote exceptional lawyers and staff who mirror the diversity of the global marketplace and the communities it serves. The firm achieves that mission through the following initiatives:

  • Providing thorough orientation, integration, and skill-building programs for all new attorneys and staff members.
  • Establishing effective mentoring programs, designed to accelerate development of attorneys as managers and leaders as part of its commitment to an inclusive approach to individual growth and succession planning for all attorneys. 
  • Monitoring work allocation to facilitate skill development and ensure access to challenging assignments.
  • Conducting ongoing education on critical issues, including implicit bias, intergenerational work teams, and cross-cultural communication.
  • Supporting strategic business development initiatives for diverse business partners and collaborating with clients to build diverse and inclusive client-service teams.

Leadership Responsibilities 

Eva Juncker co-spearheads the firm’s family law practice group, catering to the Maryland, DC, and Virginia region with plans for expansion into Florida and New York. Collaborating with fellow partners and Co-Chairs Tracey Coates and Carlos Lastra, as well as our family law practice group in our GA office. Eva helps navigate the group, ensuring a forward-focused trajectory for the entire team and the firm.

All three leaders actively contribute to the firm’s diversity committee, working closely with Chief Diversity Officer Angela Taylor. The firm’s commitment to diversity was a significant factor in their decision to join CIPRIANI & WERNER, aligning with their dedication to the excellence a diverse legal team brings to clients and the legal profession. This collective commitment echoes the firm’s ethos and underscores the potential for impactful collaboration.

Client-Centric Excellence

Eva highlights the firm’s commitment to providing exceptional legal services guided by the principle of excellence. The firm’s services are tailored to prioritize the client’s best interests, delivering top-notch representation at fair prices. As for adapting to changing customer demands, the firm’s client-focused approach remains steadfast. Positioned to meet evolving demands, their extensive industry experience allows for a collaborative and anticipatory strategy in addressing client needs. The firm’s dedication to excellence and adaptability ensures it continues to deliver outstanding representation that aligns with the dynamic requirements of clientele.

Innovating with Technology

Eva outlines the firm’s strategic integration of technology into its legal offerings. Legal support initiatives and operational teams leverage state-of-the-art technology, data, and case management tools. Securely housed in the cloud, the firm’s data center ensures 24/7/365 attorney accessibility. When it comes to advancing the firm’s products and services, decisions are meticulous. New services are introduced only after thoroughly assessing client needs, industry trends, and firm capacity. The firm prioritizes a stable foundation, ensuring job stability for employees as the leadership team explores new opportunities, always focusing on the firm’s long-term well-being.

Significant Accomplishments

When asked about the achievements that are special to her, Eva refrains from pinpointing a single crowning achievement. Her focus lies in daily victories, assisting clients through challenging legal junctures. Success, to Eva, means empowering clients to navigate disputes while retaining as much control over the outcome as possible, often achieved through mediation or negotiation. Clear winners are rare in family law, as these cases often center around distressed families.

Eva’s mission is to secure optimal outcomes at reasonable costs, recognizing the fragility of families undergoing upheaval. Notably, her tenure as Chair of the Virginia State Bar’s Diversity Conference in 2014 stands out. Orchestrating impactful initiatives, including a groundbreaking Continuing Legal Education (CLE) session on Implicit Bias featuring Dr. Mahazarin Banaji, Eva contributed to a collaborative legal community effort. This endeavor, showcasing the amalgamation of talent from both the bench and bar, laid a robust foundation for sustained diversity and inclusion work in legal education. 

Strategic Victories

Eva shares experiences where determining the proper jurisdiction proved crucial for her client’s success. She emphasizes prioritizing the client’s best interests over personal investment in these instances. Particularly proud moments involve tackling constitutional claims in family law, a rare occurrence. Despite dedicating significant effort to presenting cases in court, Eva recognizes the value of strategically relinquishing jurisdiction to a more favorable state; specifically when this tactical move significantly increases the chances of success for her clients. As her firm’s family law practice expands globally, Eva’s understanding of these nuanced considerations becomes increasingly vital.

Sustaining Excellence

Eva maintains her edge as a lawyer by actively engaging in several national legal organizations. Constant contact with fellow members keeps her abreast of emerging litigation trends and evolving case law at federal and state/local levels. Regularly speaking in her practice areas, Eva enjoys sharing information, discussing legal strategies, and serving as a resource for peers. This commitment extends to framing legal arguments in a way that is beneficial for her clients, ensuring she remains well-informed about current trends in litigation.

Bridging Divides for Inclusive Progress

Eva prioritizes coalition and bridge-building, seeking common ground with others. Recognizing the significance of allyship in overcoming challenges, she recalls a pivotal board meeting for the Diversity Conference. In this meeting, eminent civil rights legal minds deliberated on the focus of educational efforts. Despite a suggestion to prioritize LGBTQIA+ issues, Eva redirected the conversation, emphasizing the pressing need for work on racial diversity, equality, and access to justice. Her commitment to a comprehensive diversity pipeline emerged, intertwining racial, religious, national origin, and LGBTQIA+ equality efforts.

Fostering Legal Diversity and Mentorship

Eva underscores the critical role of mentoring in the legal profession. She actively participates in the Virginia State Bar’s annual meeting law student mentor/mentee program and maintains connections with numerous past mentees. Eva Juncker also dedicates herself to diversity initiatives that broaden the pipeline to law schools and legal education for minorities. Her firm belief lies in the idea that a diverse representation in both the bench and the bar significantly enhances the quality of the legal system. She actively promotes this principle through mentorship and involvement in initiatives fostering inclusivity.

Advocating Inclusivity in Legal Leadership

Eva fervently advocates for gender equality and diversity within the legal profession. She follows the maxim of trying to always be “in the room where it happens.” Ensuring a seat at critical decision-making tables, whether for state bars or law firms, she consistently champions gender equality and enhanced diversity at all levels—from interviews and hiring to career advancement.

Taking on leadership roles, Eva actively co-authors articles on topics such as talent retention and modernizing compensation models within the legal practice. Acknowledging that advocacy is an ongoing learning process, she remains committed to refining her skills to benefit her clients and improve the legal profession.

Own Critic

Eva admits to being her own harshest critic, facing setbacks and failures in her career. Post-hearing or trial, she often dwells on potential improvements, risking burnout. However, she’s learned the value of stepping away from work and spending time outdoors with her family and pets. Observing her chickens, dogs, and cats and wandering about her property boosts her mental health. Eva Juncker emphasizes recognizing the profession as a marathon, not a sprint, offering a perspective that helps her weather challenges and maintain resilience.

Guiding Career Success

Reflecting on her journey, Eva expresses gratitude for excellent mentors and acknowledges her innate drive for success. Finding little she would change in her practice path, she advises her younger self on the value of exploring management classes and honing team leadership skills.

Acknowledging a tendency towards lone wolf behavior, Eva Juncker recognizes the essential role of a dedicated team in running a law office effectively and representing clients well. With a keen awareness of the gap in legal education related to management and teamwork, she advises aspiring women in law to refine their legal skills and focus on building robust teams and acquiring effective management skills for comprehensive professional growth.

 Nurturing a Supportive Workplace

Eva emphasizes the accessibility and frequent contact maintained with leadership and HR at CIPRIANI & WERNER, despite the firm’s substantial size. This accessibility extends to interactions with the COO and his assistant, often addressing staffing and administrative matters through text conversations.

The unique strength of their team lies in a culture where no team member feels like they’re wasting anyone’s time. Mutual respect and a shared commitment to the firm foster an environment where everyone is available for each other. This sense of trust and support within the team creates a unique dynamic where members feel confident that their teammates will be there to catch them and fill in where needed.

Championing Women’s Inclusion

Eva highlights the firm’s ongoing commitment to women’s inclusion and empowerment. To actively participate and remain centered in this crucial work, Eva Juncker ensures her involvement in Diversity Committees, both within the firm and in voluntary bar associations, addressing key issues.

Recognizing that the work of inclusion is continuous and never truly finished, she echoes the sentiment of Justice Ginsberg, emphasizing the need to persist until women are well-represented across all levels, echoing the idea that, as Ginsberg suggested for the Supreme Court, having nine female justices would be a meaningful stride towards equality.

Overcoming Gender Challenges

Eva identifies early career challenges related to pay parity with male associates and the struggle to advocate for fair compensation confidently. Acknowledging societal pressures that often lead women into self-deprecation and self-doubt, she highlights the challenge of assertiveness being perceived differently from women compared to their male counterparts.

In the later stages of her career, her focus has shifted to addressing implicit or explicit biases and behaviors within the legal profession. Before joining C&W, Eva Juncker recounts the difficulty of confronting sexist, racist, or homophobic actions by fellow attorneys, emphasizing the importance of speaking up against disparate treatment. Confronting such biases may be challenging, but she emphasizes the necessity of doing so to foster an inclusive and equitable work environment and profession.

Leadership Qualities for Women

Eva Juncker shares her perspective on the ideal qualities of a woman leader. She emphasizes a commitment to uplifting the next generation of women in the legal field, prioritizing coalition building and allyship across all underrepresented groups in the profession. Eva values leaders who lead by example, willingly tackling less desirable tasks and having the humility to admit when they are wrong.

Acknowledging the inevitability of mistakes, she encourages a culture where feedback is constructive, welcoming insights from colleagues. Eva’s preference for recognition fuels her commitment to praising others for their commendable work, fostering a positive and supportive work environment.

Definition of Feminism

Eva defines feminism as the empowering belief that she and any woman can pursue any aspiration with determination and effort. For her, feminism is about acknowledging her limitless potential and ensuring the same for her daughter and their Girl Scout Troop. With unwavering confidence in her daughter and the Girl Scout Troop’s brilliance and capabilities, Eva envisions a world where gender disparity becomes obsolete in the 21st century, emphasizing the fundamental equality that every determined human deserves.

Navigating Work & Life

With 24 years of legal practice, Eva Juncker openly admits to ongoing struggles with work/life balance. As the primary breadwinner for her small family, she grapples with this role’s persistent pressures. She acknowledges the constant presence of clients and work demands but emphasizes the irreplaceable nature of pivotal family moments.

Recognizing the fleeting nature of these critical instances with her child, niece, and nephew, she strives to limit litigation emergencies that may interrupt family events. In inevitable crises, Eva, supported by her understanding spouse and family, works swiftly to compensate for missed family time. Her approach reflects a conscious effort to navigate the delicate balance between professional responsibilities and cherished personal moments.

Drawing Inspiration from Justice Cleo Powell

Eva Juncker draws inspiration primarily from Justice Cleo Powell, Virginia’s first African-American Female Justice on the Supreme Court. Powell’s extensive legal career, serving at all judicial levels in Virginia, and her role as a devoted mother and community member profoundly influenced Eva. Powell’s commitment to accessibility within the legal profession, especially for attorneys and their children, resonates strongly with Eva.

Notably, Powell’s dedication to Rule of Law Day in Richmond, Virginia, reflects her proactive efforts to keep the diversity pipeline open. Eva aspires to emulate Powell’s exceptional qualities in her roles as a human, parent, friend, peer, and attorney, making our profession more accessible for everyone.

Advice for Women Entrepreneurs

Eva offers insightful advice to aspiring women entrepreneurs. She emphasizes the importance of building individual skills and legal acumen and actively contributing to improving the legal profession. Eva Juncker encourages involvement in initiatives that keep the diversity pipeline open, enhance access to justice, and promote representation by the bench and bar for everyone. She recognizes time constraints and highlights that such contributions benefit the legal profession’s image and distinguish women entrepreneurs as leaders and pillars of their communities.

Quote

Eva’s mission is “to secure optimal outcomes at reasonable costs, recognizing the fragility of families undergoing upheaval.”

Share:

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn

Social Media

Most Popular

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe To Our Weekly Newsletter

Related Posts

Can Social Media Cause Brain Fog? Impact and 4 Strategies | CIO Women Magazine

Can Social Media Cause Brain Fog?

In today’s digitally connected world, social media has become an integral part of our daily lives. We use it to stay informed, connect with friends