Meet Tatyanna Senel. A woman with a multifaceted career spanning from technology to law. Always looking to push boundaries for the greater good, Tatyanna is a shining example of the next generation taking charge and doing so in a meaningful way. All by utilizing technology. What does this mindset result in? Turns out quite a lot as seen in this spotlight piece in Forbes. What started off as a simple conversation between Tatyanna and her friends Yasmina Souri and Alex Baptiste, transformed into a thousand lawyer plus coalition united around a singular cause, social justice. This movement didn’t come together over a matter of weeks or months, but a matter of days.
This recent example with the social justice movement is just one of many ways in which the legal industry is shifting to a digital-first mindset. I sat down with Tatyanna to discuss #BLM, the role of lawyers, and how law, in general, has been impacted by technology. See our conversation below.
#TechTuesday Highlight #65: Tatyanna Senel, Real Estate Attorney at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
How/why did you get into your space?
The tangible and practical skills acquired in practicing real estate law attracted me to this space. The adrenaline of the negotiation process can also be exciting. However, more importantly, finance is an industry that is not traditionally accessible to communities of color. I am proud to be a female attorney of color in this space and use my law degree to help close the gap on generational wealth and institutional knowledge.
How has technology impacted your industry and why is this important?
As lawyers, we are committed to providing excellent client service and often facilitate and lead communication in a variety of ways. I believe that technology plays a large part in our responsibility as communicators because the way in which we transmit information is very important. Working with technology-focused clients, such as Microsoft, has transformed the way we conduct business. For example, we utilize Microsoft’s Team platform to revise and negotiate documents in real-time with opposing counsel. As a traditionally old-school industry, attorneys need to be adaptable and innovative to keep up with our clients and serve our clients in the most efficient and effective way possible.
What do you believe is the most exciting tech trend for 2020 (as it relates to your industry)?
Working remotely/working from home during the pandemic has been a whirlwind for most attorneys. I am interested to see the long term effects of how technological improvements, such as zoom/video conferencing, will transform the usual face-time requirement in most law firms. The introduction of zoom happy hours, monthly webex meetings with firm management figures (who seem more accessible than ever) and live time revision of documents allows for more personal connections and efficient service. Technology has proven that lawyers can perform our job at a high level while spending more time at home with our loved ones.
Who is a person that inspires you in the space and why?
I am constantly inspired by the achievements of women attorneys and attorneys of color receiving recognition for their work, whether it may be making partner, publishing an article, being named a rising star in their field, etc. Over 75% of diverse attorneys will quit “big law” by their 4th year in practice. As a result, representation in large law firms is quite skewed. I look up to women and attorneys of color who continue to build a legacy and presence despite the odds. I am also honored to work closely with Chris Chavez, a senior counsel attorney at Orrick, who has taken me under her wing and shares the same commitment to diversity and inclusion as I do. Chris has been practicing for over 20 years, yet she is always so eager and excited to work with junior attorneys. I have learned so much from her with respect to substantive data center leasing issues and client relations in the last few months. I am grateful to work alongside her. She taught me how important it is to understand the value you bring to clients and never stop learning.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to get into your space?
Go for it. You can do it. We need you! There is a large deficit of accessible legal representation. We need lawyers who are committed to serving at a high level and also committed to giving back to their communities. The law can seem quite intimidating, but even though it may not seem like it, there are so many people rooting for you. I am rooting for you!
Anything else we should know about you or you want to include?
I am grateful for this opportunity to share how 1000+ lawyers in LA are committed to the fight against racial injustice and how, via technology/social media, we continue to spread the message of our efforts to our communities. Information about the National Lawyers Guild including donations and how to volunteer can be found here. To find out more about what is being done relating to social justice, please connect with Black Lives Matter or the NAACP.
#businessunusual #networking #legal #law #technology #socialjustice #blm
Have thoughts on this week’s trends or questions for me or Tatyanna? Post your thoughts in the comment section or share them on Twitter. Please include the hashtag #techtuesday and mention me @ScarlettSieber! Until next week. 🙂
Read about Tatyanna’s incredible efforts for social justice in Forbes.