Lani Medina: Forging an Authentic Path in Corporate Law at Barton LLP

Lani Medina: Forging an Authentic Path in Corporate Law at Barton LLP

Lani Medina, a senior associate in the corporate practice at Barton LLP, has built an impressive legal career focused on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, and minority investments. Lani holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Columbia University and a law degree from Fordham University School of Law, where she served as an associate editor of the Fordham International Law Journal.

As a first-generation Latina lawyer from the Bronx, Lani’s path has been paved with resilience, a non-traditional background, and a passion for law that developed during her undergraduate studies. Lani is a skilled attorney and a dedicated advocate for diversity and inclusion in the profession. Her career is marked by a commitment to authenticity and a drive for innovation in the legal field.

Breaking Barriers to a Unique Path

Born and raised in the Bronx, Lani defied expectations as a Puerto Rican female from an early age. Being the first lawyer in her family, she forged a unique path, enlisting in the United States Air Force straight out of high school. “Being recognized as the Information Manager Airman of the Year highlighted my ability to effectively manage complex situations and lead with decisiveness,” Lani shares, reflecting on her military experience. This experience laid the foundation for her strong work ethic and leadership skills, which continue to guide her legal practice today.

After her service, Lani pursued her education at Columbia University, where working full-time while studying sparked her interest in the practical impact of law. Initially considering a Ph.D. due to her love for political theory, Lani ultimately chose to pursue a legal career. “Law’s practical impact captivated me, steering me toward a legal career,” she explains.

At Fordham University School of Law, Lani balanced evening studies with work, engaging deeply in clinics and internships that shaped her practical legal skills and solidified her commitment to community-focused legal practice. Serving as an associate editor of the Fordham International Law Journal further honed her legal writing and research abilities. “Having my note published not only honed my legal writing and research skills but also deepened my appreciation for scholarly work in law,” Lani reflects.

A Non-Traditional Approach to Law

Following law school graduation, Lani began her legal career at two prestigious international law firms. These roles allowed her to build a strong foundation in transactional law, particularly in areas like mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and structured finance transactions. Lani also gained valuable experience representing various stakeholders, including collateral managers, sponsors, issuers, and underwriters.

Driven by a desire to leverage her comprehensive experience from top-tier global law firms and significant in-house roles, Lani joined Barton LLP as a senior associate. The firm’s unique approach to law, focusing on direct senior attorney involvement and a commitment to redefining the legal industry, particularly appealed to her. “This environment promised a place to not only practice law but also an opportunity to be at the forefront of shaping the field,” Lani shares.

Barton LLP is dedicated to delivering top-tier legal services efficiently and effectively to clients, including corporate entities, financial services, investment funds, and entrepreneurs. The firm operates under a non-traditional model, prioritizing direct involvement from senior attorneys and a streamlined support team. This approach fosters long-term client relationships by deeply understanding their businesses and aligning legal strategies with client goals.

Rejecting the standard multi-layered law firm structure, Barton adopts a personalized approach that ensures better value and superior client experiences. The firm offers various billing methods, including alternative fee arrangements, to reflect the true value of their services and address common inefficiencies in traditional billing.

Innovative, client-focused, and results-driven, Barton LLP is committed to challenging the status quo and creating solutions that foster opportunities and solve problems creatively.

Navigating Complex Corporate Transactions

As a senior associate at Barton, Lani draws on her extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, and minority investments to ensure smooth and successful transactions. She actively works on both the buyer and seller sides of M&A deals, leveraging her contract drafting and negotiation skills. Lani’s background in corporate governance and complex regulatory matters allows her to provide comprehensive legal advice that addresses both immediate needs and long-term goals.

Beyond transactional work, Lani is committed to advancing Barton’s innovative approach in the legal landscape by building out the firm’s Outside General Counsel services. “This initiative aligns with my commitment to providing value-driven legal services and supports my interest in becoming a thought leader in the intersection of M&A and AI technologies,” she explains. Lani’s interest in exploring innovative billing models and enhancing legal services reflects her dedication to delivering exceptional value to clients.

Navigating Challenges as a Woman in Law

Working in a predominantly male-dominated field, Lani has learned to confidently assert her competence and authority while cultivating networks that support professional growth. She advises women aiming to advance in their legal careers to build strong support systems, seek challenging roles, and consistently showcase their skills. “Your distinct perspective enriches the legal field, empowering yourself and paving the way for future generations,” Lani shares.

She also stresses the importance of staying true to oneself. “In a field that often demands conformity, I have learned that embracing my background, introverted nature, and empathetic approach is not only beneficial but essential,” Lani explains. “These aspects of my identity make me a better listener and a more thoughtful advisor, qualities that are often overshadowed in the competitive legal environment.”

This focus on authenticity extends beyond her practice. Mentorship has played a crucial role in Lani’s legal career, with supportive mentors at Fordham Law School and seasoned colleagues helping her navigate the complexities of the law and shape her professional identity. She encourages female lawyers to actively seek out mentors who will inspire and challenge them. “Engaging with mentors who push your boundaries and support your growth is invaluable,” Lani shares. “Also, stepping into a mentorship role yourself can be immensely fulfilling and enhance your own grasp of the law.”

Leading with Compassion

As a lawyer who leads with compassion and believes in the power of kindness, Lani challenges stereotypes and inspires a more inclusive and empathetic legal community. “I’m a lawyer who leads with compassion and believes in the power of kindness—traits that I consider my superpowers,” she shares. “This approach does not weaken our professional capabilities but rather enhances them, breaking stereotypes and inspiring a more inclusive and empathetic legal community.”

Through her authentic approach and commitment to providing sophisticated legal services, Lani Medina is paving the way for others and elevating the legal profession. Her unique background and dedication to advancing innovation in the legal industry make her a role model for lawyers, especially those from underrepresented backgrounds.

As Lani continues to make her mark at Barton LLP, her journey serves as an inspiration to embrace one’s authentic self and pursue a legal career with passion and integrity. By embodying these values, she encourages others to forge their paths in the legal field, breaking barriers and contributing to a more diverse and inclusive legal profession.

The Editorial Team

The Editorial Team

Hi there, we're the editorial team at WomELLE. We offer resources for business and career success, promote early education and development, and create a supportive environment for women. Our magazine, "WomLEAD," is here to help you thrive both professionally and personally.

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