Emily Tabatabai Discusses Her Unconventional Road to Making Partner at Orrick

law.com | November.09.2018

Emily Tabatabai, a partner in Orrick’s Cyber, Privacy & Data Innovation practice, is featured in law.com’s new “How I Made Partner” profile series.

In the profile, Emily describes her journey as an Orrick “lifer” who first joined the firm as a summer associate 12 years ago and made partner at the beginning of 2018. The interview includes her insights into Orrick’s agile working culture and the opportunities in the data privacy practice area. “My path to partnership was quite unconventional, and I advanced at my own pace,” she tells the publication. “Though I’ve been with the firm since I was a summer associate, I haven’t always followed the typical ‘partner track’ route. I worked on a flexible schedule for several years while my children were young. When I relocated with my family to Texas seven years ago, the firm supported my working entirely remotely.”

When asked about the deciding point in the firm making her partner, Emily notes, “I think the firm recognized and valued my drive to take ownership over my practice and develop new expertise in burgeoning industries, technologies and areas of law. I began focusing on data privacy matters more than a decade ago, when there were few practitioners in the field and even fewer firms with privacy-focused practice groups. With the firm’s support, I co-founded our U.S. data privacy practice that grew into our globally-recognized Cyber, Privacy and Data Innovation team.”

Emily also shares the best piece of advice she has for an associate who wants to make partner: “Find your ‘thing’ and become an expert. Become indispensable. Seek out great mentors and work with people you enjoy and respect. Most importantly, never be afraid to ask for what you need.”