News and Views
Media Coverage

How I Made Partner: ‘Do Not Be Afraid to Put Yourself Out There,’ Says Reena Jain 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 Reena Jain.


Reena Jain, 35, Blank Rome, New York City

Job title: Partner

Practice area: Litigation

Law school and year of graduation: Columbia Law School, 2013

How long have you been at the firm? Since May 2023

What was your criteria in selecting your current firm? I lateraled to Blank Rome with a group of litigators from Akerman, but in vetting law firms and making my own decision, my criteria were: talent, personality, and culture and diversity. At the same time, I wanted a firm that supported its lawyers throughout their career and promoted growth of individual practices. I found all of that and more at Blank Rome. The firm has been welcoming, and I know myself and the attorneys I joined with are extremely happy with our decision.

Were you an associate at another firm before joining your present firm? If so, which one and how long were you there? Before joining Blank Rome, I was special counsel and an associate at Akerman. I was also an associate at two other firms.

What do you think was the deciding point for the firm in making you partner? I believe it was a combination of factors. I work hard, deliver high-quality work product, and think ten-steps ahead. I also take ownership of my matters and have spent the past few years handling a number of complex arbitrations and litigations and interacting directly with prominent clients.

I also had the support of the partners I lateraled to Blank Rome with, Craig Weiner and Lisa Coyle, as well as the firm’s Chief Operating Officer, Shonette Gaston, who I worked with at a prior law firm.

Who had or has the greatest influence in your career and why? Craig Weiner has been my mentor and sponsor for the past five years. In me, he identified talent and a strong work ethic. And in him, I identified someone who is loyal and willing to support and promote diverse and junior attorneys. His impact on my professional career is reflected in the fact that I lateraled with him to Akerman and then again to Blank Rome.

Additionally, I would be remiss if I did not mention my mother. My parents came to the United States in the 70s, and my mom, an immigrant woman of color, worked full time while raising three successful daughters and cooking dinner every night. Seeing her commitment to her career and family was and remains inspiring.

What advice would you give an associate who wants to make partner? Be unrelenting and unafraid to push back. I have encountered a lot of people in my career who are not used to being told “no,” but someone has to say it. Tenacity has often been key to my success. Know the law, your case, and your client, and stand firm in your convictions and knowledge to shape legal strategy. At the same time, you cannot make partner without hard work—that is a given.

When it comes to career planning and navigating inside a law firm, in your opinion, what’s the most common mistake you see other attorneys making? A lack of communication. Whether it is about day-to-day deadlines and workload or more overarching conversations about client development, compensation, and partnership. Be transparent and honest. These are your colleagues and if you cannot communicate openly with them, then perhaps there are larger issues that need to be addressed.

What challenges, if any, did you face or had to overcome in your career path and what was the lesson learned? How did it affect or influence your career? I am probably not the first person to say this, nor will I be the last, but imposter syndrome is a challenge I have faced and will continue to face. As a woman of color, I have experienced self-doubt in my career. Even now, I would be lying if I said my self-doubt disappeared when I became a partner. But I surround myself with people who promote me and recognize my talent, and I remind myself daily that I belong here and was made partner for a reason.

Knowing what you know now about your career path, what advice would you give to your younger self? Do not be afraid to put yourself out there. Your first oral argument can be nerve-racking, client development and asking for business can feel awkward, but you have to do it in order to succeed.

Do you utilize technology to benefit the firm/practice and/or business development? I use eDiscovery for a number of my complex matters and it is important for attorneys to be fluent in eDiscovery in order to effectively and efficiently litigate their cases. Moreover, attorneys need to understand AI, its use, and the developing law around it (whether they like it or not). With my experience in entertainment and media litigation, I am particularly interested in the recent AI defamation and deepfake lawsuits, as well as the negotiations over AI in the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes.

How would you describe your work mindset? Hard work, dedication, and a relentless can-do attitude.

If you participate in firm or industry initiatives, please mention the initiatives you are working on as well as the impact you hope to achieve. I am a member of the NYSBA Media Law Committee which considers questions of public importance pertaining to First Amendment rights, freedom of information, libel and privacy, privilege, confidentiality, and more. Regardless of your stance, these are important issues that should be monitored and discussed.

I am also a member of various affinity groups at Blank Rome that aim to promote diversity from within.

"How I Made Partner: ‘Do Not Be Afraid to Put Yourself Out There,’ Says Reena Jain of Blank Rome" was published on January 3, 2024, in, as part of’s How I Made It series.