Lunch with Legends: Trailblazers, Trendsetters and Treasures of the Rhode Island Bar, 1220 RIBJ, RIBJ, 69 RI Bar J., No. 3, Pg. 11

PositionVol. 69 3 Pg. 11

Lunch with Legends: Trailblazers, Trendsetters and Treasures of the Rhode Island Bar

No. Vol. 69 No. 3 Pg. 11

Rhode Island Bar Journal

December, 2020

November, 2020

Stephen Adams, Esq. Barton Gilman LLP Providence

Jenna R. Trott, Esq. Barton Gilman LLP, Providence

Constance "Connie" Howes grew up in North

Canton, Ohio, formally the home of the Hoover Vacuum

Cleaner Company. She graduated from Kenyon College and went on to obtain her law degree from the University of Virginia after being inspired by her father, an attorney, and later by her mother, a CPA, who graduated law school in her mid-60s after raising six children. Attorney

Howes was admitted to the Rhode Island

Bar in 1978 and went to work for Tillinghast, Collins and Graham, where she became a partner. In 1995, she left the firm to join Women and Infants Hospital as general counsel and eventually became the President and CEO and then the Executive Vice President for Women's Health for Care New England.

Excerpts from our conversation with this trailblazing attorney follow:

Please describe a really memorable experience that you had as a lawyer

I did a lot of corporate and securities work and very much enjoyed the pressure around closing a deal, working crazy hours to get the parties to agree and get it all wrapped up. I remember one time, literally, in the middle of the night negotiating a deal - my fellow attorney was divorced from the attorney on the other side. And all of a sudden, I realized that the negotiation wasn't about our client at all. And I said, I am going to go in the other room for a half-hour, and I'll be back, and I just let them work it out a little bit.

What was your most inventive legal argument? You know, it's funny, I practiced law for 20 years and then I totally switched careers. If you have been doing something for 20 years, you have a lot of confidence in what you do. Then to go into a totally different field is extremely unsettling. I went to Women and Infants as general counsel, and when I became first the chief operating officer and later the CEO, I quickly realized that the skills that you have as a lawyer might not work in a business setting. You can't be sitting there taking notes because you are disengaging when you are doing that. You can't negotiate the way you can in a business setting, where you weigh the leverage on each side and you go for the jugular, because you have to...

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