Testimonials and Recommendations

Marla has the perfect blend of charisma, sheer smarts and business acumen which has led to her tremendous success, culminating in her role as General Counsel of Boehringer Ingelheim.  What’s distinguishable about Marla though is her strong desire and effectiveness in converting her learnings to improve the status of other lawyers.  In particular, Marla’s ability to mentor women and cultivate their business development know-how with an understanding of the business of law make her an invaluable adviser and asset to any client.

Deborah Epstein Henry, Founder, DEH Consulting

I worked with Marla Persky for years when she was the General Counsel of Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc and I was the relationship manager for the employment work.  Marla believed in me and used her no-nonsense approach, support and confidence to make me a better lawyer and client leader. Marla builds confidence in people and confidence builds leaders.

Marla makes a difference in all she does and she challenges those around her to do the same.  She is a fantastic mentor.  She sees the hidden talent in those she mentors and pushes them to achieve more in their careers and to direct their own futures.  Marla used her voice to help us identify and attract top diverse talent and she made a real difference in my career.

The legal community is very fortunate to have Marla as a role model, innovator and visionary. Marla has keen insight into helping lawyers better service clients. She really understands what clients need in today’s demanding market.  Marla knows that clients cannot do business as usual and need to expect a more strategic approach from their outside counsel.  She can work with others to mold what clients are looking for – a strategic business partner who adds real value as opposed to a draining cost center.  I have nothing but the highest praise and respect for Marla and thank her for all she did for me.

Margaret J. Strange, Esq. Jackson Lewis PC

Marla Persky is a passionate advocate for attracting and retaining top diverse talent in the legal industry.  As both an executive with hiring choices and as a mentor training talent, Marla has worked relentlessly to embrace diversity.  Marla shares her keen insights into helping lawyers better serve clients.  A tireless networker, over the two decades of her career Marla has directed scores of lawyers to opportunities for professional development.

Susan R. Sneider, Founder & President, New Vistas Consulting
Former General Counsel, Turtle Wax, Inc.

Marla Persky is a well-recognized business woman who just happens to be a lawyer.  She is able to call upon more than 30 years of business and legal experience to help mentor and train other lawyers and business people in career advancement, leadership and decision-making.  Through WOMN LLC, Marla helps women attorneys understand how simply being a good lawyer does not necessarily lead to professional success.  WOMN LLC participants master basic business skills needed to better serve their clients – which in turn leads to business generation, client loyalty and, perhaps most importantly, an opportunity to help female associates become valued partners, junior partners become equity partners and real leaders in the legal profession.

Don Macaulay, President, BARBRI Law Review

I have been fortunate enough to have Marla Persky as both a mentor and a sponsor over the course of my career.  As a mentor she provides expert guidance and support to junior attorneys.  She freely shares her experiences and deep understanding of business and the law, and provides practical advice on how to navigate the complexity of an organization.  She also serves as a true role model, leading by example and teaching with actions and not just words.  As a successful female General Counsel, Marla understands the unique challenges faced by women pursuing careers in the law and she gives more junior female attorneys tools and perspective to be able to manage these challenges and succeed.  As a sponsor, Marla is a true advocate.  She helps junior attorneys chart their development paths and she is willing to leverage her own wide network to help individuals increase their own exposure and pursue new opportunities.  She truly opens doors and provides much welcomed support and advice along the way.

Gina Mazzariello, CLO Amylyx Pharmaceuticals

Debbie Holzman is a tremendous resource to tap into for advancing the business development skills of your staff.  I have hired Debbie on numerous occasions to conduct classroom style training, as well as work one-on-one with individuals to improve their consultative and strategic selling skills.  Debbie is one of the best consultative sales professionals I know.  Debbie’s willingness to specifically learn and customize her training to our business, and her ability to teach others to be as effective as she, led to immediate results in closing large multi-year agreements with billion dollar companies.  I would highly recommend Debbie to manage or supplement your business development training needs.

Marianne Messer, President, Gold Standard Inc., an Elsevier company

Marla Persky has devoted much of her career promoting women – not just by mumbling buzz words like “promotion and retention of women,” but by hiring women to represent her company in very high profile legal matters. I am a case in point, Marla took a chance and retained me, a young black partner at a small firm. She saw potential in me that I had not yet recognized. Marla’s trust in and support of me as a mentor, client and friend enabled me to succeed. She has done the same for other women. Read the January 2013 edition of the American Lawyer Magazine for the complete story. Marla makes a difference in peoples’ careers.

Debra Pole, Partner, Sidley Austin LLP

It’s been a great pleasure to work with Marla for several years. Her keen insights and commitment to diversity in the legal marketplace are unmatched, and she has been of great assistance to me and to our firm. Marla is passionate about helping her clients succeed, and she has an uncanny ability to find solutions to difficult situations. Marla is not just capable, she is invaluable and a sincere pleasure to work with.

Charles F. Johnson III, Butler Snow LLP (ret.)


Sheila has been an invaluable coach. She has inspired me and taught me many invaluable business development strategies for growing my private practice. As a former officer and in-house lawyer at a major corporation, Sheila has the background and knowledge to coach lawyers in private practice regarding what in-house legal departments want and need and also to coach in-house lawyers regarding how to climb the corporate ladder within the law department. Sheila will help you create a plan and will touch base with you weekly to make sure you did your homework. This keeps you accountable. Sheila’s programs are personalized and provide practical tips. Sheila is a master at building a business network. I recommend Sheila wholeheartedly.

Penelope, Partner, East coast


Sheila Murphy is a one of a kind mentor and coach. Her thirty-plus years of experience as an in-house counsel give her a unique perspective on challenges facing women lawyers today. She provided invaluable advice to me about how to achieve my professional goals. It was a privilege to have the opportunity to work with her.

Beth, Partner East Coast Law Firm


Working with Sheila on a personal level has really helped me become focused and efficient in determining my goals and strategies, and then making it happen. With her insights and experience, she has helped me craft a step by step process for achieving these goals that seemed overwhelming before she was on the scene. Her knowledge of the industry, and the movers and shakers within it, has also been invaluable for helping focus my energies and directives and deciding where my efforts will be the most effective.

Jodie, Partner, NYC Law Firm


Sheila is a smart, experienced, creative, incredibly organized, and an empathetic and engaging person. I am a partner at a small firm representing primarily large companies in their commercial and insurance litigation. When we initially engaged Sheila through Focus Forward to advise us, my expectation was that Sheila could provide us with needed guidance on our marketing strategy. In the time that Sheila has been counseling our firm, she has become so much more to us, providing career advice and support to our associates, human resources expertise, and words of wisdom during times of crisis, most recently providing excellent support during the COVID-19 crisis. With her deep experience in a large complex corporate environment and her current roster of corporate and Big Law clients, l feel extremely fortunate to have her on our side.

Kim, Partner, New York Women Owned Law Firm