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Beatrice Zdrodowski covers expansive ground as both the general counsel of venture capital entities and associate general counsel of the private equity firm at Gardner Capital. The lawyer was born in Mauritius and has had the opportunity to provide legal guidance in both the public and private sectors. Zdrodowski is also the founding member of a lawyer’s group at the Missouri Athletic Club and serves on the board of several nonprofits.
Zdrodowski provides some valuable insight as to the opportunity that can arise from mistakes, the often-compartmentalized nature of work in law, and how To Kill a Mockingbird ultimately influenced her entire career path. Learn more about this incredibly young GC below.
Who was your first fictional legal inspiration and why?
I read the book To Kill a Mockingbird in school when I was young. I was highly impressed by the protagonist, Atticus Finch. I admired his zeal to pursue justice, even at risk of great personal and professional risk. He also maintained a strong sense of dignity and decorum, despite those around him behaving horribly. I remember telling myself that if I ever become a lawyer, this is the kind of lawyer I’d want to be!
What is one of the biggest misconceptions about being an attorney or the legal function itself?
One of the biggest misconceptions about being an attorney is that they know everything about every area of law. While a good lawyer must have broad general legal knowledge, the practice of law is highly compartmentalized and varies tremendously from area to area. I am fond of the analogy ”you don’t see a dermatologist when you need foot surgery, just as you don’t see a M&A attorney when you need a divorce.”
What’s a piece of unconventional advice you’ve received that was helpful?
One of my mentors told me “Mistakes don’t define you they refine you.” Early on in my career, I viewed mistakes as unacceptable everything must be perfect. I have had setbacks and disappointments, just like any other attorney. Thanks to this advice, I realized that I was letting mistakes get to me sometimes more than they should have, and they may have taken up more time than they deserved. More importantly, the advice has served as a constant reminder that every mistake is an opportunity to learn and grow.
Find Beatrice Zdrodowski on LinkedIn.