Interview: Meet Attorney Soyeun Choi of Palo Alto

In preparation for the Girls Innovate! Teen Committee preparing its Bylaws for the first time, I was fortunate enough to be able to interview an incredibly intelligent and wise lawyer, Soyeun Choi. With her help and wisdom, Girls Innovate! hopes to achieve Bylaws that will help guide the Teen Committee as we move forward in our first full year of operation. The Teen Committee is incredibly excited to learn even more from her at our Founding Board Meeting this Sunday.

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Soyeun Choi, Esq.

Attorney Soyeun Choi runs her own law practice in Palo Alto, CA, specializing in Business Transactions and Intellectual Property. She is President of the Palo Alto Bar Association. For more information, please visit her website at www.soyeunesq.com.

1. What are Bylaws? Why are they important?

Bylaws are the documents that govern a corporation. They are like the rule book for games and function as reference for the group to determine how to operate the corporation, as a group and an individual within the group.

2. What do you think the Teen Committee can gain by learning about and developing our own Bylaws at this time?

Developing Bylaws teaches negotiation, prioritization and management skills. It teaches critical thinking, empathy and provides perspective into the legal process.

3. Can you give an example of an organization that has good Bylaws? What makes them good?

Any organization can have great Bylaws. The key is to specialize the terms, keep them updated and enforce the terms when necessary.

4. Is there anything we can do in advance to prepare for meeting with you? What kind of mindset should we have?

It would be helpful to consider the documents that govern our lives on a daily basis. As for mindset, the discussion concerns the rule of law. It can be very illuminating but should be respected.

5. Is law what you thought it was when you first decided to become a lawyer?

Yes and no. It is almost virtually impossible to guess at what a career in law can be since there are so many different practice areas and so many different types of people. Also, no matter how much television or movies want to show us what an attorney does, it is too complicated to show.

But the very general outline of having a career in law is what I wanted. The very nice surprise is that working with attorneys has been gratifying.

6. Do you have any advice for girls who may be interested in pursuing law one day?

Yes: so, so much. It could be distilled into: Do your research. Stay positive.

7. Do you have any advice for girls, in general, about making it in this world and living a fulfilling life?

Living this life is not easy and the path we take is very individualized. I am happy to share my experiences so that it can help girls make good decisions in their own lives. Treat life as you would want your favorite character to approach an adventure: Do not be afraid of the challenges because that is what makes you great. And also, act with character and integrity because that’s what makes you the heroine.

Also, take care of your health.