The Human Lawyer: Yev Muchnik
Yev Muchnik finds ways to YES. For that reason, a good nickname could be YES Muchnik. Because Yev embodies the unencumbered world of possibilities when a female corporate and securities BigLaw attorney turns legal tech entrepreneur. Where others may find a quick path to, “No,” foreclosing an unforeseeable potential opportunity, Yev charges forward. Always. Her story inspires in a variety of ways: whether as the daughter of Soviet immigrants, as a BigLaw corporate attorney turned founder of a lawyer coworking space, as the advisor and investor in a blockchain and AI legal tech startup, or as a board member of the Global Women in Blockchain. Read Yev’s story, in her words.
So Here You Are; How’d You Get Here?
A healthy combination of hard work, grit, and dumb luck. I’ve always been open to new opportunities and that openness has opened up a lot of doors for me.
Your Greatest Inspiration
A friend of mine once said that as humans the best we can do sometimes is show up where we need to be, keep our sh*t together, and do a daily rinse and repeat.
His statement gave me a deeper appreciation for the human experience and what my parents went through when they immigrated to the United States from the former Soviet Union. Sometimes it was just a matter of keeping their sh*t together.
We tend to idolize those in the spotlight in an unrealistic and superhero manner, which can lead to disappointment.
My greatest inspiration are those people who pick themselves up, brush off their shoulders (and pride), and constantly find ways to reinvent themselves. Those people inspire me because I find they leave the world a better place than they found it.
How Are You Fulfilled?
I am incredibly fortunate to join startups and other ventures teams as an integral member of their team, both from a legal and business perspective. This provides me with the industry and subject matter variety I crave, as well as the ability to provide an immense amount of value to a company. I also enjoy diversifying my commitments and contributions outside of my law practice by acting as a legal advisor, sitting on boards, and consistently incorporating an intrapreneur approach when providing solutions and solving problems.
How Do You Want to Be Remembered?
I want to be remembered as someone who has inspired other women and minorities to root out the inequalities rampant in the corporate world, particularly in the board room and C-suite, whether through the use of non-traditional tools such as technology or as being a part of the movement shifting the cultural status quo. I also would like to be remembered as someone who has influenced the regulatory environment to adapt a little more expeditiously in line with technological innovation.
What Is One Thing You Would Change About the Practice of Law?
The practice of law is outdated as we currently know it—i.e., gone are the days when law offices smelling like rich mahogany was “kind of a big deal.” While there are several areas, practices, and methodologies ripe for disruption, if forced to choose one, I would develop a more robust and holistic technology solution to modernize client facing tools in way that responds to the changing legal marketplace and client needs. I would also really love to abolish the traditional billable hour model.
Something the World Should Know About You?
I originally set out to be a human rights lawyer, but a great opportunity arose at the very start of my career to practice as a transactional attorney at an international law firm in Russia during the booming deal heyday. The rest is history.