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Jeannie Rhee Charts Career and Discusses New Role With Law360

February 12, 2024

In a wide-ranging interview with Law360 Pulse, litigation partner Jeannie Rhee discusses her career and her recent role managing the Washington office. In “From Childhood ‘Lawyer’ To Leading Paul Weiss’ DC Office,” published on February 12, Jeannie says her immediate priority as managing partner is to continue the incredible momentum the D.C. office has had under her predecessor, litigation partner Kannon Shanmugam. “We have built out the office with world-class, leading practitioners who are at the very top of their respective practices, but who have built their careers here in D.C.,” she says. “They've been in and out of the government; they really understand the role of the government here.”

Reflecting on her earlier career as a prosecutor, Jeannie highlights the connection between the skill sets required for public service and private practice. “In the government, I worked on really sensitive matters. When they were of mission-critical importance, the DOJ leaders would get to go to sleep, and I would stay up all night,” she says. “You don't call Paul, Weiss or our competitors for your run-of-the-mill matters. But when it is a crisis, and a client is in a meltdown mode, they call me. Then it becomes my problem, and they can actually breathe.”

Jeannie, who immigrated with her family to the U.S. from South Korea as a child, notes that strong mentorship is particularly essential for lawyers from underrepresented backgrounds. “I wouldn't be here today if so many people didn't reach out and give me incredible support and boosts and guidance along the way,” she says. “And here I am, 27-plus years into my career, doing things that I never would have ever dared to dream would be imaginable. And that's all possible because people who never looked like me — who, on paper don't have anything in common with me — made it their business to see the potential in me and help me along. So I better damn well pay it forward.”

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