Legal Consultant Profiles: "The Passionate DJ" Lissa Montisano-Koen.

In this Q&A, we speak to the dynamic Lissa Montisano-Koen. Let's find out more about Lissa!

  1. Hey Lissa, can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I am a citizen of the world with a passion for the law, travelling, world cuisine, wine, and trip-hop music.  I am an avid reader and love sci-fi movies. If I hadn't become a lawyer, I always fantasize about becoming a DJ!

I was born and raised in the Dominican Republic, but somehow do not love the heat! I now live with my husband and 9-year son in Northern New Jersey.  I am a Chevening Scholar through which I pursued a Legal Master Degree in the University of Nottingham in the UK., and later back in the US, pursued an LL.M at Fordham Law School in NYC.

  1. What path led you to be attracted to the legal consulting path and the flexible work model?

New beginnings! After 15 years in-house and the ever-growing demands and expectations of the new “lean-management” structures, work was becoming increasingly taxing and the counsel-advisor position more of moulding your legal advice to the needs and objectives of the business, not that of a true partnership. Being able to use my bilingual legal background through consulting has given me a healthier life-work balance that is priceless. I look forward to helping KorumLegal continue to grow and expand outside Asia.

  1. What was your biggest challenge when you transitioned into NewLaw? How did you overcome the challenge?

Believe it or not, adjusting your work delivery to a reasonable deadline! Consulting requires discipline as you are the master of your time. It takes digging deep to get to know your client and better understand their needs and objectives. Approaching a consulting client requires a more lineal and focused approach of the issue at hand to be able to provide a succinct and direct response. The lack of background on the company daily operations may be helpful as long as you and the client have a fluid discussion to help you with context.  

  1. How do you think the legal field has developed in the last decade?

Incredibly fast. While laws may not change as fast as technology, client’s expectations do. Take a look at FINTECH - both established and start-ups offering revolutionizing payment delivery options transforming the industry, for which we are tasked to take current black letter law and apply to instruments and tech-driven payment options for which the law was not set up or even conceived for! That task is both challenging and exciting.

  1. Do you have any tips for consultants looking into joining the flexible workforce? Any Dos and Don’ts? (Productivity tips?)

Forget the work product you used to work on. Clients want succinct assessment of the law in order to make a business decision. Your expertise will help businesses to achieve practical business outcomes. The client can use it as a valuable tool to effectively work on a business plan. Managing your time is key and fundamental to building trust with the client. It goes back to having discipline, and having a well thought out plan on the time to be spent on tasks to maintain effectiveness, efficiency and productivity.  Keeping the client informed of the status of the review or project and expected time of delivery or completion, helps create clear and reasonable expectations.