High Performance Counsel (HPC) is delighted to introduce a new, exclusive series of interviews conducted by the rather fabulous Sonya Olds Som: #SelfiesWithSonya – which you can follow here on High Performance Counsel, on Twitter at @HipCounsel and at @SonyaOldsSom.

We thought today would be a fun day to release this news since it is, after all, #NationalSelfieDay (who knew)…

We’ve long admired Sonya’s thought-leadership and advocacy in the legal industry. She is a trusted adviser, colleague and friend to countless senior figures in the modern legal industry. They call on her. She knows that of which she speaks.

We’ve no doubt that this fun but devastatingly good twist on the traditional interview format will be widely and warmly received.

So, we welcome Sonya, and in her words:


Sonya Olds Som & David Kinnear Selfie

If you have ever seen me out at an event, whether it’s a personal or professional one, there’s a good chance we’ve taken a Selfie together, especially if we are connected on social media. As a General Counsel/In-House Counsel recruiter for Major, Lindsey & Africa, focused on diversity & inclusion, candidate counseling, business development and marketing, I co-host, speak at and just attend a lot of events around the country every year, providing a lot of opportunities for Selfies. Why do I love Selfies so much?

I am a Midwest, middle aged wife, mother, and attorney-turned-attorney-recruiter, so I am perhaps not the target demo for loving Selfies and social media. I am also somewhat introverted and a homebody. But I do so love Selfies and social media! And when I do go out, i love getting to meet new friends, reconnect with old ones, hear their stories and figure out how I might be able to help and connect them. I like to think it’s because I am compassionate, but I also acknowledge the truth of what my mom has always joked about me (“Sonya has no unexpressed opinions on any topic of which we are aware”): I’m admittedly a bit of a busy body who likes to brainstorm solutions on every possible topic with family, friends, colleagues, clients and candidates.

It made me feel good back when I was a practicing immigration attorney to figure out how to help people and it makes me feel good now that I help companies find lawyers and lawyers find the right career path. I love meetings and talking to people – every occasion to do so is special and exciting to me – and the Selfies help me remember it all! (And to share fun experiences with others via social media.)

After every event, sometimes in the cab on my way home or back to my hotel if I’m out of town, I enjoy scrolling through the pictures on my phone and remembering who I met, what we discussed, what I planned to send them or who I planned to introduce them to – and post pictures on social media. And when new GC/in-house counsel searches come into MLA and my colleagues ask me for candidate recommendations, sometimes my response is some variation on “I have the perfect candidate for this! Lives in Philly, great securities experience, terrific EQ skills, wore that pretty blue dress I loved but they didn’t have in my size! What’s her name?!? I’ll find her in my pictures and introduce you.”

A surprising number of people are in their dream jobs today because of my method of cultivating candidate relationships using events, social media and, yes, Selfies, over the last nearly 10 years of my recruiting career. The skills that I used to use in remembering the storylines of multiple soap operas and comic book series are now used for my gainful employment as a Connector: Remembering off of the top of my head who went to school or worked where and with whom, who has public company experience, who has worked overseas, and on and on, makes recruiting fun. I like collecting all of the info I can and connecting all of the dots, for the benefit of my candidates, clients, company and, of course, myself. That brings us to this new column, “Selfies With Sonya.”

I am privileged to know David Kinnear and to be on the advisory board of High Performance Counsel! David shares my passion for the legal profession and watching and helping the profession and individuals working in the profession figure out what comes next. When I met David for lunch recently in NYC and asked him to take a Selfie (of course), an idea was born: I am going to start conducting interviews with General Counsels and other legal leaders I know nationwide, using the same set of questions (I love Proust. And Vanity Fair) every time and will post them accompanied by Selfies of me with each interview subject. There will likely be other column topics in addition to the interviews, depending on topic requests I may receive and ideas that may occur to me. As always, I hope to learn a lot about interesting people and have fun. I hope that you will find these #SelfiesWithSonya interesting and fun as well.

Contact Information:

You can connect with Sonya via email at  ssom@mlaglobal.com   – on LinkedIn – or follow her on Twitter