Posted By CMCP,
Friday, September 28, 2012
Updated: Thursday, February 26, 2015
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Anna Segobia Masters, Partner | Winston & Strawn LLP
by Tulasi Hosain, The Business Advocate
Anna Segobia Masters has practiced law for over 25 years and is a partner at Winston & Strawn in their Los Angeles office. Her area of practice is employment law, and she represents employers in class-action lawsuits and other employment litigation, as well as provides advice and counseling on all facets of employment law compliance. She is co-chair of the California Minority Counsel Program board of directors, and is active in civil rights causes. She provides pro bono representation to individuals with disabilities in the areas of education and public access and accommodation, and she also represents children in adoption proceedings, primarily for Spanish-speaking families.
Growing up, her family had a strong influence on her career path, in particular her father, who she credits with giving her a sense that she could accomplish anything. Her father shared stories of sacrifices made by generations of family members who never had a choice of career, but who instead often labored under brutal conditions in the agricultural fields of California and Colorado. These stories stressed the importance of education as a means of creating choices and opportunities that would lead to a better life. More than anything else, it was her father’s influence that developed her ability to persevere and achieve her goals, and it was his influence that also motivated her to strive for excellence at whatever she chose to do in her career.
She grew up in a gang-ridden area where violence and crime were common, and though this toughened her skin, it also provided her with a vivid picture of how the lack of education and career opportunities could poison a community. She credits her father for making her feel fearless about her pursuing a higher education and, ultimately a legal career. She is one of five children and she led the way in terms of education for her younger siblings, with a sister who is a nurse and a brother who is a trainer for the Seattle Seahawks. A legal career was not her first choice as she initially focused on careers that were visible to her in the neighborhood: police officer or probation officer. Her older brother, however, convinced her that she should look beyond the confinements of their experiences and strive for something more. That led her to a legal career. She attended UCLA Law School and began her career with a small law firm in San Diego.
Anna credits her first employer in San Diego for providing her with a solid foundation upon which to grow. Taken under the wing of a 30-year trial lawyer, she received one-on-one training and mentoring, which she describes as sometimes very difficult and challenging to swallow. In that same firm, she learned the art of building relationships, which others call "networking”. One of the partners at the firm was the president of the local bar, and he had many events to attend and many people to meet. Often, if he was unavailable, he sent Anna in his place and so she was forced to introduce herself on his behalf and learn to "work a room.” Being his delegate made it easier to approach people she did not know and this provided her valuable experience and opportunity to develop her networking skills.
If she were to give one key bit of advice, it would be to develop relationships and value your reputation. She stresses that your career is a journey; that the person you will become in 10, 15, or 20 years from now is very different than the person you are as you begin this journey, so buckle up and enjoy the ride.
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