Name: Hélène Tournier
Position: 2020 LMA Southwest Communications Committee
Hometown: Denver, Colorado
Education: B.Sc., Business Administration – Marketing, International Business (University of Colorado - Boulder)
What was your very first job, how old were you and what was the biggest takeaway from the experience?
My first job was as a soccer referee when I was 13. I learned about fairness and about professionalism in a high-pressure environment – and that even adult players in the heat of a game will respect a young person if she is knowledgeable, impartial and confident.
At what point in your life did you realize you wanted to pursue a legal career?
After graduating, I moved to Paris and picked up a 6-month contract with Gibson Dunn. Working in a law firm was a natural fit for me: a fast-paced environment with type-A personalities is where I thrive. I enjoy the unique challenge of working with lawyers and performing under pressure – and no day at a law firm is the same as the one before.
What time do you typically get up on a workday, and what’s your ideal morning routine to get it off to a great start? How has the pandemic impacted your day-to-day?
The pandemic has totally changed my morning routine. My biggest silver lining is the more flexible remote work policies that have come as a result – I am so happy to avoid traffic! I always start my day listening to NPR and NYT podcasts to stay current with global news. Then the first 30 minutes of my workday is dedicated to reviewing my inbox for urgent requests and creating my to-do list for the day.
What’s something about your job that might surprise people?
People outside the legal industry would be surprised at how the law touches and impacts every aspect of our lives. Within the firm, lawyers would be surprised at how much is happening behind the scenes, especially how many different initiatives are happening concurrently.
What are some of your hobbies or favorite things to do in your free time?
Pre-pandemic I’ve been lucky to travel to and experience some amazing places. I also love the water – you can find me scuba diving or playing water polo.
Tell us about some of your volunteer efforts in the community and why you support those causes/organizations.
Sports have had a huge positive impact on my life, and I have always felt immense gratitude for Title IX. While living in South Africa, I was on the ExCo for the Gauteng Flying Disc Association – the regional administrative body for Ultimate frisbee in my province. Working with the GFDA taught me about the importance of making sport accessible to historically disadvantaged individuals, and how I could contribute to transformation in South Africa. My highlights included hosting the largest Ultimate tournament in Africa and helping to make the organization financially viable.
You’re taking me out to a business lunch in Denver. Where are we going and what do you recommend I order?
Despite being a Denver native, I’ve been away for over a decade and the restaurant scene now moves very quickly. I love the no-frills homestyle Mexican cuisine of D'Corazon in LoDo, and think their sizzling steak fajitas are just perfection.
What are you looking forward to doing the most in a post-pandemic world?
Traveling internationally again – I’ve had months to build up my wanderlust!