Celebrating 75 Years of Serving Nevada’s Legal, Business, Government, and Civic Communities

Pat Lundvall Receives Women Worth Watching in Leadership Award

McDonald Carano congratulates Pat Lundvall, Chair of our Commercial & Complex Litigation Practice, on receiving a “Women Worth Watching in Leadership” award from Profiles in Diversity Journal. Pat is one of only 83 recipients from across the U.S. representing numerous professions to receive this prestigious award in 2023. The leadership award recognizes women “who exhibit dedication to their careers, their families, their community, and the young adults they mentor. They have outstanding talent and have raised the bar.” 

The 2023 Q3 edition of Profiles in Diversity Journal features each award winner with an interview about their perspectives on the world of work, balancing life and careers, and helping to recruit and retain the younger generation entering their organizations. “Their opinions on all of these matters is invaluable to anyone who wants to understand how work is changing across the U.S. and the women leaders who are in the forefront of changing it.” We congratulate Pat on receiving this prominent national recognition. 

Pat’s Q&A Interview Profile is provided below and available on page 102 here.

Words you live by: I never compromise my principles or step over the line. It appears to be a slippery and sharp slope downward the moment you do.

Personal philosophy: Life will make some decisions for you whether you like it or not. Be open to the joy that change brings and do not allow its sorrows to define you.

What book are you reading? I just finished Can’t Hurt Me by David Groggins.

What was your first job? I started waitressing in my hometown coffee shop at the age of 13.

Favorite charity: Nevada Military Support Alliance. My late husband co-founded this organization and it now serves as a model for other states as their residents endeavor to support members of the military and their families.

Interests: Politics and current events, particularly world events.

Family: Being one of thirteen children demands that you think and plan ahead, which I have done most of my life. I probably overlooked some of the joys that being in the moment could have offered. I recently remarried to an absolutely terrific, exciting and sophisticated man. I am now basking and living in every moment of this new-found love.

Your advice and perspectives:
Reaching back and paying forward the many favors that others gave you as you journeyed throughout your career is critically important whether you are male or female. As to the favors afforded to me by other women who broke barriers before I entered the profession, I consider raising the profiles of other women and creating opportunities for them to shine are the least I can do to pay my favors forward. For example, I selected an all-female team of McDonald Carano litigation attorneys who served as Nevada counsel in a national bellwether case which was tried in October-November 2022 resulting in a $62.65 million jury verdict for our client, plus attorneys fees and costs. I had a trial in February 2023 with an all-female trial team and another trial is scheduled for September 2023 with an all-female trial team. 

It is imperative for women on an individual basis to find their voice and put themselves in the game, rather than waiting for someone else to do it for them. Stand at the front or in the middle of the room rather than at its edges. When it comes time to sit, make sure you do so at the grownups’ table. When you speak, do so confidently, and do not allow others to speak over you. And then make sure you have something to say. 

Professional success depends on achievements you make for others, not yourself. Sometimes that means sacrificing your personal feelings or personal goals. I served nine years on the Nevada State Athletic Commission and was its first woman to become chair. The NSAC regulates professional unarmed combat, such as boxing, kickboxing and mixed martial arts. It was a public service function for which you receive no compensation. Its principal function is to protect the health and safety of athletes who participate in those sports. It was a responsibility I took very seriously. Some of my rulings discharging that responsibility were not popular, but I never forgot my core function was to protect the athletes and not myself.

My last piece of advice as trite as it may seem is to find something you love doing. Competition is the common denominator in all aspects of my life. Being the middle child in a family of 13 – six brothers, six siters, six older, and six younger – my competitive instincts were fine-tuned at an early age. As a competitor I am blessed that the law, in particular litigation, found me. After 35 years I continue to genuinely love what I do, and my proudest achievements continue to be when a new or existing client calls to say they need my help.


About McDonald Carano

In 2024, McDonald Carano celebrates 75 years of serving Nevada’s legal, business, government, and civic communities. More than 60 lawyers and government relations professionals serve Nevada, national, and international clients from our offices in Reno, Las Vegas, and Carson City. McDonald Carano provides legal services and government affairs and advocacy advice to startups, corporations, private companies, trade associations, nonprofits, public entities, high-net-worth individuals, and family offices throughout Nevada. We are proud to be your Nevada law firm since 1949.

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