I met Juan at the Cornell Entrepreneurship conference in Manhattan last year. We sat at the same table for lunch and, since then he has been a great sounding board for ideas regarding products to develop for the legal industry.
Juan is a full time live music fan (wide spectrum from indie rock to the opera) who is also passionate about his work helping startup, tech and other growth companies and the people who invest in them (VCs/growth equity). He graduated from Cornell Law in 2011 and is currently Counsel in the Tech Group at Lowenstein Sandler LLP.
1) The best part of his job:
“I love all my clients (alright, most of them) but my favourite part of my job is when you start working with a founder early on and then help them and their company grow from basically just an idea to a fully realised complex organisation, and then ideally to a good exit event. I also work with a lot of investors and sometimes you can get a similar perspective from the investor side, which can be very interesting as well.”
2) Change he wants to see in the legal industry:
Two of the big issues in the legal industry that have resonated with me in the last decade are diversity and work/life balance. The good news is that a lot of work has been done in the last few years in those two areas but we still have a ways to go.
3) The lawyers he admires (his Werk crush):
My current Werk crush are the partners in my group at Lowenstein.
4) The role of mentorship in her career:
Very important, and I would be surprised if any senior associate, counsel or partner responded that it was not. Nowadays, many of the big firms have formal mentorship programs and that was the case when I started at Goodwin Proctor in Boston back in 2011. I was lucky enough that I really enjoyed the type of work that my mentors were doing and that is really how I got started in the startup world. Eventually, I developed mentorship relationships that grew more organically and I found those to be incredibly helpful over the years.
5) Describe your Werk style and do you have a “Go-To” beauty or grooming staple? (work fashion style)
I have to admit I do not have a well developed Werk style. Most days I put on some jeans or slacks with a button down.
6) What he does for self care:
I have done a lot of work these past few years on my sleep, specifically keeping a consistent sleeping schedule. I used to let work dictate my sleeping schedule but do not think that is sustainable in the long term.
**Full disclosure: I do not have kids, which I hear can complicate sleep-related matters.
7) The most worthwhile investment in the last 5 years:
I changed jobs twice in quick succession and, collectively, that is probably the best professional decisions I have ever made. Both places I left were great but, along with the type of work that I love, I was also doing a lot of work that I did not find particularly interesting or fulfilling.
- The role of a lawyer is To listen. To advice. In that order.
- The reaction when people find out you are a lawyer They are not surprised.
- In your quietest moments what are you most grateful for How fortunate I have been.
- Expectation V Reality of a career in law since you left law school Managing people gets more and more important.
- Where and how can people find you online or even offline: LinkedIn (Juan B Soto). I love meeting people offline that are involved with/interested in the startup world, music or cinema.
*Featured image taken from Lowenstein Sandler homepage which owns the full copyright.