Advisor Profile: Michele Mulrooney
April 5, 2022
Michele Mulrooney is a partner in Willkie’s Private Clients Group. She focuses her practice on estate planning for high-net-worth individuals, including actors, directors, writers, producers, artists, sports figures, business owners, executives and real estate investors. She has substantial experience in all aspects of estate planning, including the preservation and protection of wealth for generations of families, establishing and advising private foundations, post-death administration of estates and trusts, establishing and advising conservatorships and guardianships, cross-border planning for multinational clients and insurance issues.
Q. Why is it important to give back? Why is philanthropy important?
Philanthropy is important because it offers individuals the opportunity to make a difference in the world. There are so many good causes, and it can be hard to connect with the organizations that are doing the work that is important to you. That is where CCF is such a great resource for my clients.
On a personal level, I feel like I’ve been blessed with an amazing career. I am passionate about giving back to the institutions that helped support my career journey. I feel it’s important to donate your time and not only your money. That is what motivated me to join the board of USC’s Gould School of Law. My alma mater provided me with a great education that launched my career and offered me wonderful opportunities along the way.
Q. What issues are you passionate about? How do you get involved and try to make a difference?
I have many passions, but the top three are: education, women’s rights and equal opportunity for all.
As a young professional I was lucky to have great mentors, but none of them were women. I am now at a place in my career where I get the opportunity to be a mentor for younger women lawyers. Having someone who you can relate to, who shares similar life experiences, is such a valuable resource as a young professional.
Q. As we celebrate Women’s History Month in March, can you share about your journey as a woman working in the advisor industry?
Women face different challenges in the workplace. For example, early in my career, as a working parent, I worked part-time because I had young children. When I went back full-time and eventually became a partner, I made sure my firm kept women active in law by giving them the opportunity to work a reduced schedule so they could have a family and a career and did not have to sacrifice one for the other.
For me, being a mentor and advocate for women in the workplace allows me to make long lasting change. I get to draw from my lived experiences to help a new generation and that is very fulfilling. That’s my biggest success.
Q. How has CCF helped you make your client’s philanthropic goals a reality? What are some services you find particularly valuable from CCF?
CCF is a great partner for my clients. I had a client that wanted to give a piece of real estate property in advance of a possible sale during the time that the property still qualified for a charitable deduction and CCF helped me facilitate this gift. A lot of Donor Advised Fund providers do not do that, so that was a big deal.
Some of the services that are particularly valuable are research on various charities and helping to identify a client’s philanthropic passions. For example, you might be passionate about an issue like climate change, but you might not know where the best place is to give your money. I know my clients have used CCF’s research capabilities and have found them very helpful.
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