In this installment of the Women Who Wow series, learn more about Gina Rubel, the Founder and CEO of Furia Rubel Communications, Inc., a company that provides strategic and integrated marketing and public relations services.
Why did you choose your profession?
The legal industry and communications are in my blood.
I am a proud third-generation lawyer. My grandfather, who graduated from University of Pennsylvania School of Law in 1930, practiced law until 1971 when he became the first Italian-American U.S. Magistrate for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. In 1971, my father took over his father’s law practice. Fast-forward to 1994, when I earned my J.D. We were taught little about business management or communications. Professors focused on substance and style, not the practice of law. We graduated without knowing how to establish, grow, promote, manage, lead or sustain a law practice. Fortunately, as an undergraduate student at Drexel University in Philadelphia, I was a corporate communications major with an international business concentration. I had a solid foundation in business communications and strategies.
Like my father and grandfather, I began my relationship development efforts with networking and service, even before I passed the bar exam. Thereafter, I was elected to serve on the Philadelphia Bar Association’s executive committee of the Young Lawyers’ Division. Fifteen years later, I was elected to the board of governors of the Philadelphia Bar Association for which I have also chaired various committees. In 2019, I established the association’s first-ever Law Firm Risk Management Committee, which I continue to co-chair with Mark McCreary of Fox Rothschild LLP.
I have made it my professional mission to assist lawyers who similarly realize that the competitive local, national, and international legal markets require strategic planning and careful execution of communications and business development tactics to acquire and retain clients. My extensive knowledge of the industry led me to publish the first edition of my book “Everyday Public Relations for Lawyers” in 2007 and the second edition which was released in 2019. Purchase the book here.
What does Women’s History Month mean to you?
Women’s History Month is a reminder of how far we’ve come and how far we still need to go. It is a reminder that we all need to do our part to support the success of women in every profession.
Women make history every day. Deborah Willig, for one, was the female Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association in 1992. She shattered the glass ceiling and set the stage for women as leaders in the legal profession. Jennifer Welter became the first woman coach in the NFL in 2015 and Patty Jenkins, became the first female director of a full-length superhero action film in 2017. In July 2020, Erika James was appointed dean of University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School marking their first woman and person of color to lead the institution in its 139-year history. All women have the power to make history and pave the way for others.
I look forward to a day when women’s “firsts” will not be news, but instead commonplace. Until then, it is up to us as women to continue to make history each day and be examples for the young women and girls who will grow up in the world we help to shape.
What advice would you give to women in your field?
I suggest to all women to lead by example, not be afraid to take risks, conquer fears of imposter syndrome, and lift other women up along the way.
Each one of us can make a commitment to a small change every day in our organizations, industries, homes, and communities, that supports other women and makes way for new opportunities. Imagine the ripple effect we can continue to create and the doors we will open.