In The Magazine

Meet Our Power Elite: Bettina Plevan

Sunday, October 29, 2017

AVENUE’s revamped Power Elite A-List features select New Yorkers who have made the city the epicenter of finance, arts, culture and entertainment. In keeping with our issue’s focus on women’s empowerment, throughout October we’ll profile standout females who have significantly contributed to various aspects of life in New York.

Bettina “Betsy” Plevan started her career in 1970 as the first female lawyer at Bogle & Gates in Seattle. Four years later she moved to New York to work at Proskauer, where she still works today. Her long, successful career doing work as she just described has landed her on Avenue’s 2017 Power A-List. When she found out about her position among our Power Elite, Plevan described herself as being “surprised and flattered.”

Plevan is now a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department where she is well known for her work as an attorney and advisor for sexual harassment issues and civil rights violations.

“No doubt, some of it gravitated to me because I am a woman,” Plevan said, “but I also think, at least 25 years ago, I had a more nuanced and balanced approach to the defense of those cases than at least some men who were inclined to attack the complainant.”

Breaking through to be very successful, as a woman, in a historically male dominant field didn’t seem to faze Plevan throughout her career. “Challenges I faced were largely the work life balance issues. I have a pretty thick skin and tended to ignore or disregard, or was even oblivious to gender bias from adversaries. In my experience, doing excellent work, and of course, getting results were what mattered to clients, not gender.”

As an attorney in Labor & Employment, Plevan’s practice includes a diverse group of clients in industries such as banking and finance, health care, entertainment, publishing and education. She says some of the best work she’s done has been resolving sensitive matters on a confidential basis, but she has plenty of other accomplishments that entitle her to a bit of bragging.

From 2004–2006 she served as President of the New York City Bar Association; from 2006–2009 she was a member of the American Bar Association’s Board of Governors; and from 2013–2014 she was the chair of the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary.

“I would describe the work I did as President of the New York City Bar Association in the areas of diversity in the legal profession, increasing the availability of legal services for the poor and advancing the rule of law as among my most important accomplishments,” Plevan said of her time between 2004 and 2006.

Click here for Avenue’s last Power Elite profile.


All Eyes On Art, November/December 2018

Our selection of arts and culture

In The Magazine

Fully Engaged

A Snapshot into the Life of Bonnie Lautenberg

At Home
At Home

Luxury Homes, But No Buyers

Why has the sun set on Sutton Place?