Women's Leadership InitiativeQ&A with Diana Jia

Diana Jia practices in the firm’s Corporate Department, and consults clients on a wide range of corporate and business matters, including mergers and acquisitions, business transactions, and risk management. She has experience in advising clients from various industries, including manufacturing, health care, real estate, marketing, software, aviation and telecommunication. She negotiates software licensing agreements and advises on data security risks.

Describe a pivotal moment that influenced your career path.

Back in October 2018, I was working as a judicial staff attorney at the Montgomery County, Ohio Common Pleas Court. I was ready to explore career options in the private sector but had no concrete plan. A mentor of mine encouraged me to get involved with the Columbus Chinese Chamber of Commerce and it happened that the Chamber was hosting an event in a few days. I was not shy to attend an event where I knew no one, plus I was fascinated by the topic (it was about trade). The co-host of the event was Porter Wright Morris & Arthur, a law firm that I only knew by reputation (at that point). There I met the first of many Porter Wright lawyers that I now know and Porter Wright’s business development team. Shortly thereafter, I joined the firm. And within a year, the Chamber appointed me as a board member. Looking back, it was serendipitous how things unfolded: what if my mentor did not share the event information with me? what if I decided not to go? what if I did not take initiative to introduce myself and network? Who knows. Isn’t life amazing?!

How has mentorship impacted your career?

I was not familiar with “mentorship” until I had moved to the United States. The concept was foreign to me. In fact, I could not think of a Chinese equivalent that accurately describes what mentorship entails. Over the years, I learned that mentorship, like other relationships, takes some luck and a lot of work. It is not a one-way street. A mentee could also provide value to the mentor and should show initiative and be invested in the relationship. I was able to build meaningful relationships with a number of mentors (lawyers and non-lawyers). They showed me the way and lifted me up.

How has your previous experience helped you in your current role at Porter Wright?

Prior to joining Porter Wright, I served as a judicial staff attorney at Montgomery County Common Pleas Court, where I reviewed motions and drafted legal opinions. It was an intense research and writing experience, and helped me be a more effective writer and communicator. I was trained to see past all the minute details of a case and to focus on the big picture. Having that experience with objective writing under my belt prepared me to provide objective and thorough analysis to a client. Additionally, I saw how transactions and contracts ended up in court. Having seen all these cases, I am more thoughtful when reviewing and negotiating an agreement.

Tell us about a passion project or hobby.

I am a yogi and have been practicing yoga and meditation since 2014. Yoga helps me to be focused and mindful. I learn so much about myself on yoga mat. Eventually, I would like to become a certified yoga teacher and share my passion with others!