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On December 3, 2018, Stephanie DeLong, a partner in Venable's Real Estate Practice and co-founder and leader of Women Attorneys at Venable (WAVe), was recognized by Corporate Counsel as an honoree of its National Women in Law Awards for 2018, which honors general counsel, in-house leaders, and law firm partners who have demonstrated a commitment to advancing the empowerment of women in law.

Following is an excerpt from the publication:

What was your route to the top?

When I moved to DC for my first real job, little did I know that commercial real estate would become my life. A fabulous female mentor showed me that being a real estate attorney could incorporate my interests in both business and law, so I went back to law school at night. Working fulltime and taking evening classes teaches you to prioritize and work efficiently. I applied legal concepts I learned at night to real problems the next day and turned the experience into a full-time clerk and later associate position. Next, I focused on climbing the ladder. I was fortunate to have an incredible mentor and supporter from my first year until today. My hard work and his support propelled me to partnership quickly. I have worked diligently in Venable's Real Estate Practice, focusing largely on commercial real estate finance and securitization. I work devotedly for my clients, including Fannie Mae, and have grown that practice extensively over the last 16 years. While client work was rewarding, I wanted more influence within my organization and quickly identified a hole that needed filing. While Venable technically had a women's initiative, it was not robust. Co-founding and leading WAVe, an affinity group that helps women fine-tune business development skills, has been a highlight for me.