Julie Patter is an associate at the Pittsburgh law firm Cohen & Grigsby. Her developing litigation practice takes her to both state and federal courts where she represents clients in complex commercial disputes, trade secret and non-competition covenant disputes, and construction law disputes. Outside of work, Julie is actively involved with United Way of Southwestern PA as well as other nonprofit organizations in the city. She enjoys exploring the city of Pittsburgh and experiencing its diverse neighborhoods and cultures. Her favorite spot to find new outdoor spaces is in the East End, where she lives.
Are you a lifelong Pittsburgher? If so, what keeps you here? If not, what brought you to Pittsburgh?
I am not a native Pittsburgher, but my grandfather was born and raised here, so I have always felt a connection to the city. I interned with Cohen & Grigsby during the summer between my second and third years of law school and moved to the city after graduation to take a position as an associate at the law firm. After more than six years, Pittsburgh definitely feels like home.
How does Pittsburgh inspire and inform your work?
One of the many ways in which Pittsburgh informs and inspires my work is through the opportunity to provide pro bono legal services in our community. Over the course of my career thus far, I have had the privilege to work with exceptional attorneys, both within and outside of Cohen & Grigsby, to provide legal services to people in need of representation.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ll tackle this week?
My biggest challenge this week will be time management and maintaining work-life balance. As an attorney, I will balance client needs and expectations alongside my colleagues, as well as the personal commitments I have made in the community and socially. I also try my best to work in at least a little downtime to unwind during each weekend. This week’s particular challenge is the addition of out-of-state work travel to the mix.
What excites you the most about your work?
One of the things I appreciate most about my area of practice is that each case and each client’s need is different. I am constantly learning new things and challenging myself daily.
It’s time to unwind. Where do you head?
When I have time to relax, I prefer to be somewhere outside. If I am staying close to home, I enjoy taking walks or bike rides on the riverfront trails. If I have a day to spare, my favorite place to be is Ohiopyle.
What’s the one Pittsburgh event you can’t wait to attend?
I am going to see Hamilton, and I am really looking forward to it. I have not yet had the opportunity to see the show, and I am very excited that it is coming to town!
Why is giving back important to you?
I believe that we all have a duty to contribute to our community and help those who need a hand. Being in a position to give back to this city and its people is an honor.
Why United Way? How has your LINC membership helped you, personally and professionally?
I first learned about United Way in 2012 through my workplace campaign, but I did not become personally involved in the organization until August of 2014 when I volunteered with a group of friends.
I learned quickly that United Way touches many lives. I feel my involvement is able to further efforts across a broad range of causes about which I feel strongly. I am currently a member of LINC, which is a donor group at United Way for young professionals, and Women’s Leadership Council. I have also volunteered for the Games for Good event and by co-chairing an RFP committee. I have also served as a host committee member for Hoodies for the Holidays for the past two years. Through those groups, I have had opportunities to spend time with peers who have similar professional and personal goals. I have made many friends and professional connections through my United Way participation.
If you feel comfortable sharing, please include your social handles.