Attorney at Law Magazine sat down with Smita Rajmohan, a technology transactions associate at Cooley LLP, to discuss her life and career. She is based in the Palo Alto office and is certified to practice in both California and India.
AALM: What drew you to a career in the law?
Rajmohan: I was keenly aware at an early age that I wanted to help others and use my powers for good. Law provided the perfect opportunity to do just that.
AALM: Tell us a little about your philosophy when it comes to your practice. Do you have a personal motto?
Rajmohan: As a technology attorney that gets to work on cutting edge deals in Silicon Valley and around the world, I believe the best thing a lawyer can do for her client is to fully understand the client’s business and walk though their ultimate goals. In order to be a successful commercial lawyer and contribute to the client’s business growth its important to align your legal advice with the business goals of the client.
I believe the best thing a lawyer can do for her client is to fully understand the client’s business and walk though their ultimate goals.
AALM: Tell us about one of the most important lessons you learned from a personal or professional mentor.
Rajmohan: Don’t get lost in the weeds. Think big picture and be decisive!
AALM: What is the most important lesson your parents taught you?
Rajmohan: Perseverence and humilty. I grew up in a middle class home in India and my parents have been the most important part of my success and achievements.
I grew up in a middle class home in India and my parents have been the most important part of my success and achievements.
AALM: What are you most proud of professionally and personally?
Rajmohan: I am immensely proud of representing some of the world’s most exciting and disruptive brands and startups. My clients include household names in Internet, digital and social media, entertainment companies, blockchain technology, artificial intelligence, and multinational retail corporations. It’s been incredibly rewarding to see their businesses grow and know that I contributed to their success. I have also been fortunate to work on several high profile M&A transactions having a total value in excess of $10 billion. Many of these deals make news in the Wall Street Journal and other trade publications. Its very humbling and tons of fun.
It’s been incredibly rewarding to see their businesses grow and know that I contributed to their success.
AALM: What advancements in technology shape the future of technology law the most? In what areas do you anticipate seeing the largest shifts?
Rajmohan: More recently, technology advancements have changed the way companies collect, process and share personal information of individuals. This has warranted on additional regulatory scrutiny and triggered the passing of new privacy laws such as the California Privacy Protection Act (CCPA) and the General Data Protection Regulation in Europe. I think artificial intelligence and blockchain technology will be transformational and will require legislators and businesses to play close attention to changing technological landscapes juxtaposed with existing laws.
AALM: Tell us about your life outside the law.
Rajmohan: I like to actively follow developments in Internet law and technology outside of work. I am a fellow at the Internet Law and Policy Foundry and was selected to be a Young privacy Professional Leader in the SF Bay Area by the International Association of Privacy Professionals. I am a frequent speaker at technology and intellectual property conferences such as INTA and PLI.
I am also deeply passionate about diversity and inclusion and serve as a director on the boards of United Nations Women USA – SF and the South Asian Bar Association for Northern California.
Its important to have hobbies — my latest hobby is doing improv!
AALM: At the end of the day, what makes you happiest professionally and personally?
Rajmohan: Doing excellent work and being a driver of business growth is deeply satisfying. I also make it a personal goal to mentor young lawyers and give back to the community.