Helen Wan
Attorney, Novelist

Helen Wan is an author, lawyer, and frequent speaker on advancing diversity and inclusion in corporate America.  Her first novel, The Partner Track, the story of a young Asian American woman navigating the politics of power at a prestigious corporate law firm, was published by Macmillan in September and has already gone back to press. The Wall Street Journal calls The Partner Track “an engaging and suspenseful debut.  The pleasures of this novel lie in character and plot.  She dissects the tokens of status in this world in a manner that’s reminiscent of Tom Wolfe.”  The novel was selected as Amherst College’s November 2013 Book Club Selection, Real Simple Magazine’s December 2013 Book Club Selection, and was also the subject of a recent Washington Post Magazine cover story on Asian Americans and career success.


Wan has also written for The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, and The Huffington Post. In addition, Ms. Wan has practiced corporate law and media law for over fifteen years, most recently as Associate General Counsel at the Time Inc. division of Time Warner Inc.  Before that, she was an associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, and the entertainment law firm Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz P.C.  Ms. Wan is now at work on her second book, which will again address themes of race, gender, and class, and their impact on the pursuit of personal and professional success.


Wan was born in California and raised near Washington, D.C. She is a graduate of Amherst College and the University of Virginia School of Law. She lives in New York with her husband and young son.




3/26/2015 – Shearman & Sterling LLP/MLA Global – Palo Alto, CA

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St. Martin's Press

In this riveting debut from Helen Wan, a young attorney must choose between the prestige of partnership and the American Dream that she - and her immigrant parents - have come so close to achieving.

Rocking the Boat (Without Tipping It Over) - Why All the Career Advice Your Asian Parent Gave You Was Probably Wrong: Wan talks about career strategies for the corporate workplace, especially for Asian-American employees, including how to develop a successful personal brand, identify and overcome cultural stereotyping, cultivate mentors and sponsors, and avoid blending in to the background.
The “Model Minority” in the Corporate Workforce: Wan offers a candid, close-up view on how firms and companies can better recruit, develop, retain, and leverage Asian-American talent, including how to convert cultural insights into returns on investment.
Law and the Writing Life: In this lecture, Wan offers strategies and inspirations for successfully juggling the full time practice of law (or any other demanding career) alongside the pursuit of creativity.
Women in the corporate world, challenges and all Helen Wan speaks about gender issues in corporate world. As a women and a corporate lawyer, she offers a unique look at the challenges of working in a predominantly male environment and breaking through the glass ceiling of corporate America.

"Everything was absolutely perfect—Helen was great. Our clients and attorneys enjoyed the event and I was so pleased with the number of people who came!"
-Elaine Carmichael, DLA Piper LLP

"The feedback has been fantastic!!!  Helen was wonderful.  The Q &A went on for quite a bit.  There were many thoughtful questions and answers."
-Angie Hankins, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP

"The event was fantastic. Helen was brilliant. Everyone enjoyed it, and shared positive reviews. She was candid, personable, extremely humorous, poignant, and in command."
-Carlos Dávila-Caballero, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

"We had standing room only attendance. The fireside chat format elicited several questions from the involved audience and attendees enjoyed the event immensely. We found Helen to be warm, engaging, and very personable."
-Ketki Mehta, KMPG

"Our event with Helen went extremely well and she was well received!"
-Tina Dong, Colgate-Palmolive Company

"We thoroughly enjoyed Helen's presentation and absolutely loved her book."
-Sylvia James, Baker Botts, LLP.

"Excellent feedback and warm response from the audience…She even posed for photos and autographed them all personally. People were very excited to meet her."
-Lisa Ong, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

"Everything was great. Helen was really well received and I know the audience really enjoyed her presentation!"
-Jamie Sroczynski, Liberty Mutual