Honoree: Elina Avakian
UCLA School of Law
Elina Avakian negotiated and closed several important deals for Snap Inc. over the last 24 months, across Snapchat, Bitmoji and Spectacles. She adds value to Snap through her subject-matter expertise and negotiation strategy, often coming up with innovative and creative solutions to close a high-volume of some of the most compelling and strategic deals and helping to ensure long-term relationships with partners. In addition to innovation in strategic commercial transactions, Avakian also lends her expertise and innovative approach to the global payments and e-commerce space, which is a constantly evolving area with new regulations and requirements. She often advises Snap on global payment trends and requirements and negotiates and closes contracts to ensure Snap’s expansion into new markets. She drafted the Snap Tokens Terms for Snapchat, enabling Snap Tokens to launch in over 20 countries. Given that this was a new product for Snap, she had to review legal and regulatory issues in many countries and jurisdictions to ensure compliance with applicable requirements. She worked with outside counsel, colleagues, and the business teams to resolve remaining challenges.
In addition to her role as an attorney, Avakian is in her second year as co-lead of SnapWomen LA, Snap’s employee resource group which helps to support, empower, and advance women at Snap. She is also a member of the Snap Legal Team’s Diversity Committee (and co-leads the team’s “Law in Tech Diversity Collaborative” work); a member of the ACC’s Wellness Committee (each year she organizes a panel on Managing Attorney Burnout); and she mentors students and young professionals (including law students and recent graduates, as well as through Snap’s Design Academy and Code Talk programs). She also mentors newly qualified attorneys in order to ensure that they have a resource to turn to when they are not sure what to do. She provides both long-term mentoring to some, as well as advice on a one-off basis for others, because she believes that the best way to improve the legal profession is to contribute to the success of those who come after her.