A Model Mentor

Kathleen Wilkinson, VLS '81, and Tom Wilkinson, VLS '81

Photo Credit:
Jeff Lyon, Philadelphia Bar Association

Kathleen D. Wilkinson, Esq. ’81, embodies what it means to be a Villanova lawyer – a leader in the boardroom and in the community. One of the most senior women partners at Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP, she has built a successful, trailblazing career as products liability and construction accident litigator. Now Ms. Wilkinson is taking on her next great challenge as Chancellor of the 13,000-member Philadelphia Bar Association.

Ms. Wilkinson, who assumes her new role on January 1, 2013, addresses some of the challenges facing practicing lawyers in the December 4 Philadelphia Inquirer profile, “For new legal chief, mentoring a priority.” Under intense cost-containment pressure from clients, many firms have reduced the professional development opportunities offered to associates, services that are so vital to the career development of new lawyers. As part of her plans as Chancellor, Ms. Wilkinson hopes to counteract these cutbacks with a new speakers' series concentrating on networking and business development for young lawyers.

Mentoring young lawyers is nothing new for Ms. Wilkinson. In September, she spoke to young women attorneys and law students at the “Fill Her Shoes” Workshop at Villanova University School of Law. Ms. Wilkinson emphasized the importance of mentors, particularly the value of women mentors for young women entering the profession. She encouraged those in attendance to find their passion and to include service in their careers, pointing out that her Bar Association work was among the most rewarding career endeavors. 

Ms. Wilkinson’s husband, Tom ‘81, who she met on their first day of classes at Villanova Law School in 1978, is also a leader in the legal community, currently serving as president of the Pennsylvania Bar Association. Their daughter, Lindsey, is a member of the VLS Class of 2015.

Villanova University School of Law congratulates and thanks Ms. Wilkinson for her continued service to the legal community and is proud to have her serving as an inspiring leader for the School and its students.