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Theresa Bevilacqua, Dorsey & Whitney LLP
Theresa Bevilacqua, Dorsey & Whitney LLP

The POWER 30: Theresa Bevilacqua

Theresa Bevilacqua started out intending to be a voice performer, but that didn’t seem like a secure career path even though her parents were performers and she “grew up in a practice room.”

She became a trial lawyer and one of the things she loves is the performance aspect. “I rehearse. I’ll do it out loud in front of a mirror and I always preview with my team and my client,” Bevilacqua said.

Apparently her strategy works, because she is now the co-chair of the Commercial Litigation Group and former chair of the Minneapolis Trial Group. She has been lead trial counsel in cases ranging from manufacturing, energy, agribusiness, aviation and technology.

She also is one of the coordinators of Dorsey & Whitney LLP’s Dispute Anticipation and Readiness TEAM (DART), which advises on its website, “There will be litigation. For all of the questions the COVID-19 pandemic leaves in its path, this is a certainty.”

DART is a team that works across Dorsey’s platform to respond to COVID-19 litigation with support such as work product, research and forms.

Employee relations is an important issue to the clients right now, Bevilacqua said. The role of the lawyer in this realm has mostly to do with advising on best practices and regulatory compliance, she explained. The concerns extend across all industries, and deal with staffing shortages, compliance with all regulations and workplace morale problems.

Gender discrimination against women lawyers still exists. Bevilacqua said she has always felt supported and encouraged within Dorsey and has not experienced any discrimination there. “They gave me as much experience as I wanted,” she said.

But, she said, “I have experienced it in other settings. I try to use it for my advantage. It happens mostly in settlement but also in court. It’s more about age than gender,” she said.

And there is a way to stop it, Bevilacqua said. “Winning. Winning is what earns you respect.”