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Menna Khalil is working hard to increase female empowerment and racial equality across the world. As associate legal counsel for the Middle East/Gulf region at Gartner, she wears multiple hats while working with different subsidiaries across the region.
Khalil first found an interest in the Middle East in high school, where she worked on projects and associations that shed light on female empowerment and racial equality. Since then, she was the first Arab/Middle Eastern student vice president on the International Law Students Association board, served in local and international moot court communities to assist and support law students, and served as a board member on the Gartner Middle East/Gulf Corporate Social Responsibility Board. This year, Khalil aims to widen her horizons in giving back to her community by mentoring and further empowering up-and-coming law students and young professionals.
What is one of the biggest misconceptions about being an attorney or the legal function itself?
That all lawyers go to court. This is not the case as not all lawyers go to court. There are several ways through which one can practice law—in fact, many lawyers may never appear before a judge in a courtroom throughout their entire careers!
What’s a piece of unconventional advice you’ve received that was helpful?
“You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds […] and I promise you, something great will come of it.”
Being successful means putting yourself out there, following your intuition and venturing outside of your comfort zone from time to time.
What is the most meaningful case or pro bono experience you’ve worked on?
One of the most meaningful yet challenging projects I worked on during the early years of my career was supporting in building a legal department from scratch!