What was your route to the top?
My global roots – I’m the daughter of a Latin American diplomat – drew me to a cross-border practice. Innovation and technology became part of my toolkit, as these were essential to fill the gap companies faced in effectively managing, tracking, and facilitating the movement of their talent across borders with agility and reliability. In 2014, I joined Mayer Brown’s Washington office, bringing a multi-million dollar portfolio to the firm and launching a new Global Mobility & Migration practice that incorporated these hallmarks. I was elected to the firm’s Partnership Board in 2019. Previously, I served as the managing partner of a multinational law firm’s DC office where I led that firm’s Global Immigration & Mobility practice and helped grow the office and increase its visibility.
Looking back, what do you wish you had known when you started out in the legal profession?
The key to success is unlocking the power and passion of your talent. That requires a deep understanding of the skills and capabilities that are unique to each one of them, and it means you as a leader have to create an environment where they are encouraged to speak up, contribute novel ideas, and sound the alarm when something that used to work does not anymore. That type of environment stimulates innovation and progress – and it makes people want to come to work and achieve something exceptional. When I started practicing law, I didn’t know how important it would be to inspire and develop others, but I learned over time that is the only way that an enterprise can surge and achieve its full potential.
What is the best leadership advice you’ve given or received, and why do you think it was effective?
1) The importance of diverse viewpoints cannot be overstated. Open discourse and fresh thinking lead to new ideas. 2) You must remain agile and constantly innovate. Innovation allows a firm to provide holistic solutions to clients with ease. Innovation surmounts barriers of location, culture, language, and knowledge or skill level to allow the law firm to communicate with the client’s full suite of stakeholders, so that solutions align with their fundamental needs and can be effectively incorporate and sustained. 3) Failure is a fiction. The real test is recovery from failure, and the wisest lawyers use this as an opportunity to establish a better, stronger, more resilient solution. Failure stimulates progress.
Reprinted with permission from the October 7, 2021 edition of Corporate Counsel © 2021 ALM Properties, Inc. All rights reserved. Further duplication without permission is prohibited.