Katherine Wood, 2021 BN360 Spotlight Professional

The Buffalo Niagara Partnership is pleased to present the 2021 BN360 Spotlight Professionals.

Each year, BN360 highlights up-and-coming young professionals who strive for professional growth and development, care for their community, and are passionate about the future of the Buffalo Niagara region.

Katherine Wood

Associate Attorney | Hurwitz & Fine, P.C.

Katherine Wood is an Associate Attorney at Hurwitz & Fine, P.C., where she is a member of the Labor & Employment Team. On the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee, Katherine works with the leadership team on firmwide initiatives including diversity training and programming, the recruitment and retention of a diverse workforce, and the promotion of an inclusive work environment based on respecting the experiences and perspectives of others.

Throughout her career, Katherine has made giving back a priority. Her community involvement includes tutoring at Lawyers for Learning, a program that matches volunteers from the Buffalo legal community with Buffalo Public Elementary School students, providing professional role-modeling, educational opportunities, and increased self-confidence to Buffalo’s youth.

First Job: 

My first job was working as a sales associate at Old Navy when I was 16. Having a job at this age taught me responsibility, the importance of punctuality, and time management.

Greatest Professional Win:

I consider all dismissals of lawsuits against my clients to be great achievements, so it’s hard to pick just one of those! Recently, the Second Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a Complaint against our client–winning in the Second Circuit is always an excellent victory.

Best Piece of Professional Advice:

Find your passion, give it your all, and (if you can avoid it) don’t take just any job just to have a job. Early in my career I found a passion for labor and employment law. At that time, I was offered a few job opportunities that would have required me to switch fields. I reached out to a former law school professor (shout out to Prof. Christine Bartholomew!) asking for advice. She encouraged me to hold out for an opportunity that would allow me to continue following my passion. Not long after that, I was offered a position at Hurwitz & Fine in the labor and employment department that allowed me to continue doing what I love.

Community Engagement:

  • Erie County Bar Association
  • Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York, Western New York Chapter
  • Lawyers for Learning

Thoughts on Living and Working in Buffalo Niagara:

I absolutely love living here, and I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. As a native Buffalonian, I promote Buffalo every chance I get–I’m currently working on convincing my sister-in-law and her partner to relocate here from NYC. Our city is so vibrant with so much to offer. I feel like there are new businesses opening up every day, and it is so great to see!

On Being a BN360 Spotlight Professional:

It feels wonderful! I am honored to have been selected. A big thank you to Carolyn Batt for nominating me.

2020 Takeaway:

During the pandemic, I learned how difficult but important it is to “shut off” at the end of the workday. For a lot of people (including me), commuting home at the end of the day was a way to mentally separate work and home. The pandemic really shook that up! To battle burnout and create a separation, I implemented a “commute replacement,” where at my normal commute time I workout, read, or do another activity for the 20 minutes I would normally spend driving home from work. This really helped put a separation between work life and home life, as it was a clear divider of time.

The Pandemic’s Career Impact:

I think the pandemic will re-shape the way many employers look at remote work. Being forced to work remotely has shown that most office jobs can really be performed from anywhere! I think that will bring more flexibility to my profession and others. The pandemic also brought remote court appearances, which I think will continue to play a role in the post-COVID world.

Top 5 Favorites: 

  • Favorite Mural: Weaving Colors of the World by Chuck Tingley (my favorite local artist)
  • Best Buffalo-Niagara Hidden Gem: The observation deck at City Hall–you won’t find better views anywhere.
  • Go-to Buffalo Food: Wings, of course.
  • Best Buffalo Activity/Hobby: Going to Bills games and Gene McCarthy’s trivia nights.
  • Place you would take someone new to Buffalo:​ Canalside, or anywhere on the waterfront.

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