Albany Business Review
October 1, 2021
Vol. 48, No. 28, p. 13

5 Questions: Women in Leadership

As a female leader, what has helped you the most to find success?

I think the most important indicator of success is choosing a profession that you love and partnering with smart, hardworking (and fun) people. In most fields, to succeed you need to work your tail off. If you are doing that in service to a job you love and to people you respect, then those hours seem a lot less onerous. It is also critical to have a growth mindset, to understand that our talents are important, but they are only the starting block to the race we are running – hard work and dedication will develop us to our highest potential. I’m certainly still running my race. I hope my clients feel that they are the beneficiaries of that effort.

What is the most important legal issue for business owners?

I recently saw a funny quote, “It depends. The answer to every question ever posed in law school.”. But, in this instance, it really does depend on the type of business and industry. One common issue is a business’s overall absence of legal advice on general to complex day-to-day legal issue. That leads to diminished strategic planning and avoidable mistakes – from tricky employee matters to regulatory concerns to critical moments before a zoning board. It’s very important for a business to partner with general counsel.

How does the process of general counsel work?

Most businesses need regular legal services but cannot bear the expense of a full-time attorney on staff. Having general counsel provides a business with an attorney on retainer. When a business hires me as their GC, they have the comfort of knowing they can contact me at any time regarding any subject and get informed, knowledgeable advice. No more Google guessing! It is critical to develop a relationship with general counsel now, to avoid or mitigate larger issues later.

What do clients look for when seeking a lawyer or law firm?

Ultimately, I suppose that is a question best posed to them. In my experience every client has unique legal needs. What is universal, though, is my clients want someone to listen to them, to partner with them in finding solutions, and to do so efficiently and effectively. All clients want honest, succinct, and attentive, cost-effective representation. In the last few years, I have heard more from my business and corporate clients that they also expect a balance of gender and diversity in their firms. I am very proud of my law firm’s offering in that regard. We strive to deliver on each of these points and hope our success reflects meeting these expectations.

How should women support other women in their organization?

As a business owner, hire, pay, and treat women without bias. At Monaco Cooper Lamme & Carr, I am proud to say we are 60% women attorneys and overall, 74% women professionals. Regardless of gender, because in my experience women and men can be great allies and supporters of one another, you build a culture based on relationships that keep your team connected, mentored, invested, and valued. Shun the negative, encourage the positive, and celebrate others’ successes. In the words of musician Lizzo “If I’m shinin’, everybody gonna shine.” Shine on, my friends.

About Mackenzie Monaco

Mackenzie Monaco maintains an active litigation practice representing a wide range of clients, from individuals and local businesses to national corporations, in state and federal courts throughout New York.  Mackenzie delivers counseling, risk management, and tort defense services to the hospitality and retail, construction, insurance, and health care industries. She also maintains an active trusts and estates practice. She can be reached at and (518) 675-7739.

About Monaco Cooper Lamme & Carr, PLLC

MCLC is a law firm dedicated to providing exceptional legal services and unparalleled value while building rewarding and lasting client relationships. Our team comprises seasoned trial and transactional attorneys who are nationally recognized industry and legal authorities in a wide range of practices. For more information on our firm, visit or contact our Marketing Director, Stacy A. Smith at