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How I Made Office Managing Partner: 'Make Yourself Available to Listen, Always,' Says Cheryl Chang of Blank Rome's How I Made It series features conversations with legal industry leaders about how they climbed the ladder of success and what they learned along the way. Below is a featured interview with Blank Rome's Cheryl S. Chang.

Cheryl S. Chang, 44, Managing Partner with Blank Rome, Los Angeles, California

Job title(s): Co-chair, Los Angeles office; vice chair, financial institutions litigation and regulatory compliance group

Practice area: Financial Institutions Litigation and Regulatory Compliance

Law school and year of graduation: UCLA School of Law, 2004

When you were you promoted to your current role? 

Jan. 1, 2023.

Were you a partner at another firm before joining your present firm? If so, which one, how long were you there and when did you leave? 

No. I joined Blank Rome as a fifth year associate.

How would you describe your career trajectory (was it organic or an active pursuit)?

A lot of hard work and a bit of luck! When I first started with Blank Rome, I was proactive in seeking out work and made myself available to any practice group and office that needed help with litigation matters. As a result, I developed relationships and a reputation for working hard.

That proactive mentality and strong work ethic has stayed with me throughout my tenure at the firm.

What do you think was the deciding point for the firm in electing/promoting you to your current role? Was it your performance on a specific case? A personality trait? Making connections with the right people?

While I cannot say for sure, some of the things that may have helped me were being known in the firm as a team player, establishing good relationships with associates, partners, and professional staff alike, growing a strong book of business, and actively advocating for and participating in the strategic growth of the Los Angeles office and the firm.

What unique challenges do you face as it relates to your role?

One of the biggest challenges in my role as office co-chair is maintaining a collaborative and cohesive work environment for the attorneys and professionals. To do this, my co-chair, Greg Bordo, and I have established momentum, post-COVID, of encouraging greater attendance in the office. We’ve been successful in getting people back in the office by regularly meeting with partners and associates to find out more about their experience and soliciting feedback on how to make it more welcoming. Based on those meetings, we’ve put a greater emphasis on mentoring, enhanced technology and social events.

What’s the best piece of advice you give to someone who wants to rise up the ranks to lead an office?

Keep your finger on the pulse of what is happening and what is important to people in the office; not just the public narrative but the scuttlebutt as well. Make yourself available to listen, always.

Who had the greatest influence in your career that helped propel you to your current role?

Many mentors and sponsors have positively influenced my career, but three stand out: Shawn M. Wright, partner, white collar defense and investigations; co-chair, litigation department; co-chair, Washington, D.C., Office: As a mentor and role model from early-on to today, Shawn always has time to listen to my successes and struggles and provide solid guidance. She is an outstanding role model of how to be a great lawyer and a nice person that leads the way for women and diverse attorneys.

Wayne Streibich, partner and chair, financial institutions litigation and regulatory compliance group: As chair of my practice group, Wayne has been a wonderful sponsor, a vocal supporter of my work, and has provided me with valuable advancement opportunities.

Gregory M. Bordo, partner and litigation department co-chair; co-chair, Los Angeles office: Greg has been an extraordinary example of how to lead the L.A. office. For 10 years, he has cultivated an inclusive and collaborative culture and a great group of colleagues who genuinely like spending time together. I look forward to continuing to work with him to lead the office.

How do you utilize technology to benefit the firm/practice and/or business development?

One technology that comes to mind is my firm’s extensive use of Microsoft Teams for video calls and meetings. Of course, Teams was critical during the pandemic. But even now, post-pandemic, it is essential to connect people with hybrid schedules and across our firm’s 15 offices. For our clients, it is a very efficient way to meet. And we are doing more hearings and mediations and even new business pitching via Teams and Zoom as well.

Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give to your younger self and/or what would you do differently?

Try not to sweat the small stuff!

Do you have a prediction on how the legal industry will evolve over the next several years?

AI will certainly have a large impact on the legal industry. While I don’t believe AI will ever fully replace lawyers, the industry will definitely need to learn to adapt.

Please share with us any firm or industry initiatives that you are working on as well as the impact you hope to achieve.

Greg Bordo and I have been meeting regularly—formally and informally—with our Los Angeles colleagues. Based on these discussions, we’re continuing to focus our efforts on mentoring, enhanced technology, and meaningful social events that bring us closer together as an office and also support local communities.

We are also focused on strategic growth in our Los Angeles office to meet the needs of our clients. We were excited to welcome top talent to our office in 2023 and have more in the pipeline. Some notable partner additions have included Travis Jang-Busby and Joseph Welch, and senior counsel Rob Handler, as well as a number of associates.

What career advice do you wish more people would ask you?

I wish more associates who may be facing challenges (and we have all had them) would ask me or someone else, “How did you get through it?” “What else do I need to do to stand out?” or “What are my career path options?” We all have anecdotes, advice, and empathy to share. Career journeys are not one-size-fits-all.

As a law firm leader, what impact would you like to have on your firm and/or the legal industry as a whole?

I certainly intend to make significant impacts on my office, my practice group, and my firm in terms of growth, excellence in serving our clients, and cultivating a positive work environment. What has stood out to me in my first year as co-chair of Blank Rome’s Los Angeles office are the number of female and diverse attorneys and professional staff who have told me that my appointment has inspired and encouraged them. That is an impact that I am humbled and honored by.

"How I Made Office Managing Partner: 'Make Yourself Available to Listen, Always,' Says Cheryl Chang of Blank Rome," by was published on May 17, 2024, in, as part of’s How I Made It series.