Westchester County's Most Accomplished Women Entrepreneurs
Meet 28 of the county's most successful, move innovative, most respected business women.
(page 5 of 26)
A Better Way
Geri S. Krauss
Owner, Founder, Krauss PLLC
“As a kid, I could argue my way through anything,” says Geri Krauss, who, today, is the owner and founder of Krauss PLLC in White Plains, a legal firm. “There was just really never a question that I wanted to be a lawyer and appear in court.”
Krauss received her JD from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1976. She knew she wanted to be in the boxing arena of the law: litigation. By the middle of the last decade, she was writing a book for the American Bar Association on lawyers’ obligations to their partners, and, in 2002, she began as lead counsel for the plaintiff in the landmark sexual harassment case Bell v. Helmsley against the hotel magnate Leona Helmsley.
“That trial was transformative,” says Krauss of the case, which resulted in an $11 million judgment for
her client in 2003. On the same day that a court reduced the $11 million verdict, though, Krauss received some more bad news: a breast cancer diagnosis. During her recovery, she says, she came to the conclusion that "after all these years of litigation, there has to be a better way.” Three years later she decided to open her own firm to also offer people the options of mediation and arbitration as alternative means of conflict resolution.
The only full-time lawyer at her firm, Krauss has managed to be appointed to the elite Super Lawyers listing for five years in a row. Krauss, whose hourly rate is usually around $500, has handled more than 100 clients in the last two years alone (by contrast, some 50-lawyer firms may only handle 500 clients a year). In addition, a large part of her practice involves being a “lawyer’s lawyer”: having authored the American Bar Association’s book on lawyers’ obligations to their partners, she often represents other attorneys in disputes with former clients or partners.
Since starting Krauss PLLC in 2006, Krauss has had to discover the business side of running a firm—finding her space in White Plains, setting up payroll and accounting, vetting, and lots more. Even more challenging, she says, was “having to support and cover these investments and expenses before I could take home any profits.”
Continue reading the county's most successful, most innovative, most respected business women sections