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Flock Safety builds ethically designed crime-solving technology and deploys it to businesses and law enforcement areas in over 2,500 communities across the nation. Michael J. Molina, a longtime advocate for forward-thinking approaches to policing and safety in minority communities, is proud to be its vice president of legal and deputy general counsel.
Drawing from his experience as a former prosecutor and an attorney who represented victims of asbestos-related terminal cancer, Molina counsels Flock’s executive team and focuses on data security, privacy, contracts, IP, and more.
He cites a fictional character as the one who inspired his legal career and shares his belief that law is a lifelong apprenticeship as well as the invaluable advice he received as an assistant district attorney in Brooklyn.
Who was your first fictional legal inspiration and why?
First things first, rest in peace, Uncle Phil! Uncle Phil from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was a lawyer, judge, and activist and one of the earliest recollections I have of a no-nonsense educated man of color who held himself and family to high standards. His character normalized the complexity of a strict and demanding patriarch who was expressive, caring, and vulnerable around his loved ones—all wrapped up in a large stature, thunderous voice, and double-breasted suit.
What is one of the biggest misconceptions about being an attorney or the legal function itself?
That lawyers somehow know all of the answers about all of the laws. The practice of law is a lifelong apprenticeship where we are constantly learning from our peers, mentors, customers, stakeholders, and even opposing counsel. Although we study a plethora of topics, the number one thing we walk away with in law school is the ability to “figure it out.” It causes us to become mini experts on nuances in the law and hyperfocused on issues that affect our clients.
What’s a piece of unconventional advice you’ve received that was helpful?
“Not everywhere is Brooklyn, ADA Molina.” A judge that I appeared in front of for a criminal trial in Brooklyn, New York, provided me with feedback after the trial. Her advice was that although I understood the jury pool and people of my hometown in Brooklyn because they resonated with me as a native New Yorker, I should continue to hone my craft until I was comfortable walking into any courtroom or boardroom in the country equipped with a malleable skill set that was agnostic to jurisdiction.
Find Molina on LinkedIn.