Texas Lawyer Professional Excellence Awards Recognize George Gerachis as a “Best Mentor”
Texas Lawyer has named longtime Vinson & Elkins partner George Gerachis a “Best Mentor” as part of the publication’s annual Professional Excellence Awards. This award honors experienced attorneys who have helped colleagues become better lawyers through formal or informal mentoring.
Gerachis, head of V&E’s Tax and Executive Compensation and Benefits department, believes mentoring begins before attorneys receive official offers to join the firm. He makes it a priority to get to know each summer associate and continues to work one-on-one with new attorneys once they are on board.
“I make it a point to work with summer associates and every brand new associate,” said Gerachis. “I want to establish that relationship as early as possible and figure out where they are and how I can help them along their career path.”
This rings particularly true for tax partner Lina Dimachkieh, who split her time as a summer associate at two firms but credits Gerachis’ hands-on leadership for convincing her to join V&E. From her first day, Dimachkieh said Gerachis provided the support she needed to hit the ground running by greeting her with a significant project and inviting her to client meetings so that she could begin forging valuable relationships she maintains to this day.
“There are many factors that help determine the success of an associate but a large part of it comes down to whether leaders are willing to make the time for mentoring or not,” Dimachkieh said. “George always makes the time.”
Gerachis also challenges young lawyers to take on more responsibility to facilitate their professional growth. Juliana Hunter, a counsel in the tax group, recounts an invaluable opportunity Gerachis gave her to argue a case as a second-year associate.
“George is always in my corner, pushing me to be the best lawyer I can be,” she said. “He is very deliberate in his mentorship and believes the only way to learn is by doing.”
Gerachis’ mentorship approach has contributed to high retention rates for female and diverse attorneys in the Tax and Executive Compensation and Benefits department. “If you ask George, he would say he’s not taking gender into account – there is equal opportunity for everyone in our group,” said Hunter. “And that’s precisely why it works. He doesn’t treat women differently, and that’s the key to the success women have had in this department.”
Gerachis was recognized in a virtual awards ceremony hosted by Texas Lawyer on September 17, 2020.
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