Magical coffees and that coffee that we never drink ...

I could have chosen any other topic to talk about the sexy "Innovation", but no, I want to tell a different and true story about collaboration and connections, real connections, as these are the key to achieving great things.

But now, let's get into the matter, on one occasion, Ximena[1], I wonder: “Karol, how do I do this, if I'm shy @ and introverted @, if I hardly have Facebook and my email is And to top it all, my emotional intelligence is zero, it is difficult for me to accept my vulnerability, and, among other things, I cannot with the change and I suffer from severe procrastination".

(Dear reader, I do not blame you if at this moment you are raising an eyebrow in disbelief, but the truth is that as a result of that question I decided to take some time to reflect on the importance of collaboration and magic "cafes").

Faced with this question, I answered: “Dear Ximena, the story you tell me sounds familiar, and fear not, we all had a beginning. But the last thing you mentioned is perhaps the most important thing to start developing healthy relationships.[2] that allow you, (in addition to having great connection experiences), to grow professionally alone and why not, also to collaborate with other colleagues of the same profession or not -and there I find special pleasure- in all the topics that you are passionate about and new ones that you meet along the way".

The truth is that, it is not an easy task, but I think that what I could recommend is to take some "coffees with yourself" (the assorted juices, yes those from the market also work) and when you have done some exercises to discover your purpose through the practice of IKIGAI[3] and above all, once you have recognized that you are not perfect and that you dare to show your vulnerability, you can proceed to share coffees or juices with one or more people.

After that, if you have already connected and met people from your law school, or from La Barra (in case you are in the Anglo-Saxon world) or people from your school or university (in the typical "reunions") or even, You could go to cafes with people outside your sector, for example, with people you admire or follow (not just your parents) for some particular reason, whether academic, (like with that teacher @ who marked you), or with other people that like you, are students or already practicing lawyers, or also, why not, with people who hold positions similar to yours, in other law firms or companies, or with their bosses who at some point may become yours (if you are looking for opportunities).

Ximena, overwhelmed, replied: “But Karol, it happens that I don't have LinkedIn, or a medium, or anything that is used today to connect with your peers”. The truth is that, although today many more professionals and recruiters use these platforms to connect with others, other social networks such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook itself continue to operate and with quite good results, yes, anyway, I would recommend Open an account on certain networks that, depending on your personality and profile, help you better connect with other people for the different purposes you want, but that's another story. Anyway, Ximena, do you know about the communities?

Ximena understands the meaning of "communities" and knows about platforms such as MeetUp, Eventbrite, Crowdcast, among others, that are used for those purposes, but she told me that she is not yet encouraged to be part of one, after which I proceeded to invite her to join the community of Legal Hackers chapter LimaCommunity Management 3.0 , Lean Kanban Latam, Community in Beta State y Community Take charge of your employability, to start. She excitedly asked me if I could give her some tips and I just told her that she should be herself and that it would be convenient for her to practice her storytelling (How did you get to this point and the motivations you have to meet other people who are not necessarily lawyers like you, but also other professionals and learn about their initiatives, concerns, etc.).

Everything is in the empathy Ximena, at the beginning it will be strange, but little by little between coffee breaks, webinars (now in “Covid Times”), And face-to-face events when things are normalized, you will be able to practice and you will get to relate as a“ fish in water ”and the best thing will be that in addition to knowing many of them only by sight and / or greeting you will get to know them to such a level that you can consider them friends and that's where COFFEE ARE MAGICAL.

You can even invite them to have coffee remotely and these cafes can be international, so take advantage of that Ximena, and experience all the good that can happen if you open up a little more and trust. Then Ximena stated: “But how to trust if lawyers only seek to compete and are suspicious and have such a closed mentality regarding what is their responsibility, watching if someone has been copied, or worse, they could think that I want to steal clients”. I completely understand, and I agree with you 200%, there will be people like that, but you always smile, keep going, keep your essence and you will see that, over time, they either change, or at least develop genuine respect for what you do. But they may also go down in history as the jurassic lawyers that "lived in silos."

Ximena finally asked me: "and what do I do if:

a) They do not accept the request to connect in networks or they leave me "in sight".

b) They always postpone my coffee and some explain why, but others don't even apologize.

c) Some ask me what is the end of the meeting (virtual coffee), or what do I want to sell?

Karol, tell me, what happens with the coffee that we never drink? The one that we reject? The one that we didn't offer?

I sent him a gift of virtual hug, I took a breath and answered the following:

“You are still curious, keep your essence, define your purpose, your why, you have advanced a lot, you have everything and you have also left the cave of your house, you have taken a huge leap with a pole, you have done what few do, you you have dared and reinvented[4], You have stepped out of your comfort zone, you are thinking outside the box, and you are developing great connections, without fear that others will copy your idea, steal clients, reject you or even criticize you for not speaking the same language or speaking it with some difficulty[5]You have overcome all barriers, you are humble and persevering, I only wish you excellent connections at all levels, that you identify and find other people with the same spirit, that you share everything, that you trust yourself and others ”.

Remember that they can criticize you, mock you, and even copy your ideas without citing you, but there is no such thing as “copy and paste" of the essence, nor of your history, those two things that make you powerful and that are only yours. Perhaps the day that colleagues in our profession (and from all sectors in general) are aware of this, they will realize that there is room for everyone, that not everyone can do everything, but that we can specialize and give space to the true INNOVATION, the one whose pillars are collaboration, resilience, help and why not, many “cafes”.

Ximena, I'll see you at our monthly mentoring coffee at 3 in the afternoon, and please tell me how volunteering is going and the communities you now collaborate with.


*The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the administrators of The Crypto Legal blog or the Lawgic Tec association.

[1] Great friend and confidant.

[2] At all personal level, whoever removes and you know someone great like you, on a professional, spiritual and academic level.

[3] explained in Spanish and that it deserves a separate chapter from the one I will write soon. I promise!

[4] Professional Reinvention course online, super short and with certificate.

[5] I believe that mastering many languages ​​opens doors to many opportunities and that like other hard and soft skills, they are necessary and I dare say, mandatory. That first message in the original language is WOW, there is literally no loss, yes, if you don't master it, admit it, others will understand it and have patience, there are also ways to overcome it, such as with the subtitles of many apps or the use of DeepL or Grammarly or the same Google Translator that improves every day, and of course, you can learn it online or in person, that is already a voluntary decision.

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Karol valencia
She works as a Legal Project Leader and Legal Services Designer at eID and also works as a Service and Innovation Designer at Lawcus-LPM. He develops private consulting and focuses on projects and services with a holistic perspective through his Karol Valencia brand (worldwide and remotely) and is Head of the Community at Eye Z Legal (India). She is an active member of the Institute for Internet & The Just Society, also works in the #Barpocalypse project for the redesign of legal education in the US and is the ambassador in LATAM of ILSA (Innovative Law Studies Association). As a polyglot, you work on the translation of various technical documents, articles, books, articles and more when requested or simultaneously translated as an interpreter at events. She is a lawyer from the Universidad Católica San Pablo, with postgraduate studies at the PUCP, and has a law degree from the UEM in Madrid, Spain. With training in digital transformation, innovation, programming and design in "En Estado Beta", "Iron Hack" and "Interaction Design Foundation"; In a self-taught way, he participates in communities such as Legal Hackers Lima, PsychoLAWgy and others, in addition to different volunteer jobs. Former professor at the UPN. Facilitator and international speaker at Legal Design & Legal Tech. Activist on mental health issues. He currently collaborates with columns and blogs such as: The Crypto Legal, his Medium account, and Impact Lawyers. He believes in redesigning the legal system to achieve better access to justice for all. Contact:


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