Interview with Monika Żuraw, PhD, the Founding Partner of Żuraw Pikora & Partners, in the “50 High Business Profiles” publication
We are pleased to share with you the interview with Monika Żuraw, PhD, the Founding Partner of Żuraw Pikora & Partners that was included in the publication “50 High Business Profiles” prepared by Businesswoman & life Magazine in a book format published for the benefit of the Professor Zbigniew Religa Foundation of Cardiac Surgery Development.
Monika Żuraw is a doctor of the science of law, a legal counsel and a partner at the law firm of Żuraw Pikora & Partners
MONIKA IS A GRADUATE OF THE FACULTY OF LAW AND ADMINISTRATION AND THE FACULTY OF NEOPHILOLOGY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WARSAW. SHE IS A LONG-TERM LECTURER AT THE FACULTY OF LAW OF THE CARDINAL STEFAN WYSZYNSKI UNIVERSITY IN WARSAW. MONIKA HAS BEEN WORKING IN THE DOMAIN OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW FOR 25 YEARS. SHE HAS EXTENSIVE EXPERIENCE IN ADVISING BOTH FOREIGN BRANDS WITH GLOBAL REACH AND POLISH CLIENTS.
SHE PROVIDES LEGAL ADVICE TO CLIENTS ON ALL MATTERS RELATED TO THE PROTECTION OF THEIR INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY. HER MAIN EXPERTISE IS LITIGATION, INCLUDING CIVIL AND CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS. SHE CONSIDERS THE DEVELOPMENT OF PROPER LITIGATION STRATEGY TO BE THE TOP PRIORITY WHEN HANDLING THE CASES HER CLIENTS ENTRUST HER WITH.
SHE IS A SUCCESSFUL PRACTITIONER EFFECTIVELY NAVIGATING THE SEAS OF DIFFICULT NEGOTIATIONS AND MEDIATIONS.
- I AM… DETERMINED.
- I ACCEPT… THAT I AM CONSTANTLY ON THE GO.
- LIFE HAS TAUGHT ME A LESSON THAT ONE CANNOT LIVE BY ASSUMPTIONS WITHOUT CONFRONTING THEM WITH REALITY.
- THE IMPORTANT THING IS … NOT TO CONFINE YOURSELF TO YOUR SUCCESS, BUT TO SHARE IT.
BWL: Was it an obvious choice for you to take law as a career path?
MŻ: The fact that I am a lawyer is my personal decision, not supported by the previous experience of my family or friends. My Dad is a fruit grower. His professional accomplishments did inspire me, but I saw myself in another profession. I wanted to choose a career that would be tangible, give me independence and be interesting. I started English studies, but after the second year, when there were fewer classes, I decided that I still wanted to take up studies in law since it seemed to me that law was a very concrete and promising direction to follow.
BWL: Was it hard to study your two majors at the same time?
MŻ: No, it was not. However, you definitely need to be well organized to study two majors simultaneously. In addition to my studies, I had two jobs, that is, one at a language school and another one at a law firm. From my today’s perspective, when I look back, I think I took on a lot of work. Still, I didn’t feel a sense of overload at that time.
BWL: Your career choices seem to have been very deliberate…
MŻ: On the one hand, yes, they do. But on the other hand, I rely strongly on intuition. When I graduated from law school, I got an offer from my supervisor to work at the university and write a doctoral dissertation. At the time it seemed too much, but I figured that it was a good thing to let fate do its thing when it was putting some opportunities in my hands. I consider the fact that I decided to work at the university and write my doctoral dissertation as an important decision, which was not easy for me at that time, but in retrospect turned out to be significant.
BWL: You have been working in the domain of intellectual property law for twenty years. Was it an obvious choice of specialization for you?
MŻ: I came across intellectual property by pure accident. In 2000, I started working for a law firm that had the very first intellectual property department in Poland. Going to a job interview at that time, I had no idea what a trademark was.
BWL: Do you have a constant thirst for more knowledge?
MŻ: Indeed, the desire to grow continuously is one of my core qualities. I feel great satisfaction when acquiring new skills, plus I like to choose things that will be challenging for me. Courage is also very important to be able to make decisions when there is no guarantee of success.
BWL: So, do you attribute your professional achievements to your courage and constant desire to grow?
MŻ: I owe my achievements to my hard work and dedication. When I left a big law firm after having practised there for fifteen years, I found that my identity was not a business person at all. I had mainly foreign clients with whom I had little contact. Moreover, I didn’t have to recruit them myself, so I didn’t have the slightest idea about running a business. And that is why I consider the decision to start my own law firm to be my great success. I learned everything from the scratch and it was quite a challenging moment in my career.
BWL: Do you think that being a lawyer is more challenging for women than men?
MŻ: It is still the case, unfortunately, that man have more opportunities for development available to them. But I want my example and my voice to show many young women that it is possible to arrange your career path in such a way as to get a sense of fulfilment. I always strive to support other women in the legal profession by sharing my experience since I am well aware that sometimes all it takes is just a tiny bit of faith and encouragement from another woman. So I tell them to have the courage to pursue their goals and absolutely not to be discouraged by any adversities as sometimes it turns out that the more difficult the task is, the better the result we get in the end. I believe that once we learn to deal with adversities we will achieve more. It’s not about spectacular accomplishments, but about the ones that are within one’s capabilities in the real life context. When I achieve something, my success is a source of my satisfaction but it also brings good to others.
The important thing is not to confine yourself to your success, but to share it with others.
BWL: In what activities do you invest your time outside of work?
MŻ: I’m a single mom, so I spend all my time outside of work with my daughter. My passion is personal development in the broadest sense. I read a lot and attend various workshops. I’m also a person of faith, so I also make room for prayer in my free time. I think I don’t have enough time for idle repose. I’ve been starting to feel tired recently, so I know I’ll have to find more time and attention for my body.
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