FinTech Female Fridays: Meet Cristina Chirica, Partner at M&H, LLP
Cristina began her journey as a lawyer after graduating from law school and passing the California Bar Exam. She was determined to practice transactional corporate law to work with start-ups and investors and to be promoted to partner one day. She took the next step towards making these career goals a reality by applying to M&H, LLP’s Silicon Valley office. At the time, the firm had been recruiting for a senior associate with more experience, but saw Cristina’s potential and decided to take a chance on her. Thousands of billable hours later, Cristina was promoted to partner, relocated to New York, and opened M&H’s first New York office where she continues to work with technology start-ups and venture capitalists.
M&H, LLP is a boutique law firm with offices in Silicon Valley and New York, with a focus on corporate law and technology transactions. The firm advises start-ups (including fintechs), established companies, and investors on corporate matters, from formation to fundraising and exit events, as well as intellectual property and employment issues. M&H takes pride in being able to offer top quality services that combine decades of legal expertise, a practical approach, and an extensive network of business experts to support founders and investors as they start and grow successful companies.
Cristina’s path to success as a lawyer is far from ordinary. She grew up in Romania, but moved to the U.S. at 15 years old after her father was offered a position in the booming semiconductor industry in Silicon Valley. As an immigrant, Cristina found it difficult to adjust to life as a student in America as she often needed to independently navigate important life decisions such as college and law school processes. However, Cristina’s past is what allowed her to build inner strength, self-confidence, and resilience. The soft skills acquired from navigating different cultures and adapting to new situations contributes to Cristina’s success today as a partner at M&H.
One piece of advice that resonates with Cristina is to stay true to yourself, to know who you are, and to live your life with integrity. Never allow circumstances or others’ behaviors to change who you are, what you stand for, and how you conduct yourself, including at work. There is a profound confidence that comes from living with integrity and being authentic.
More on Cristina
Where you currently live: New York (Manhattan)
Family at home: Cristina got married recently, so it's her and her husband
Hometown: Bucharest, Romania
Favorite hobby: Tennis and Traveling
8:00 - 8:30 am: Cristina wakes up, has coffee, catches up on news from the WSJ, checks social media, and exercises (depending on the day)
10:00 am: She next decides whether to go into the office or to work from home. Cristina goes into the office three or four times a week because she enjoys being outside, grabbing another coffee, and embracing the New York street energy
10:15 am – 10:00 pm: Work - This varies from day to day and consists of billable hours, administrative tasks for her firm, mentoring of associates, or networking efforts. Cristina usually has a combined breakfast and lunch on the go around noon, and dinner with her husband and/or friends whenever there’s an opening in the evening
10:00 pm: Wind down - Cristina watches Netflix or reads, speaks with her parents and friends in other time zones, and schedules upcoming activities and appointments
12:00 am: Bedtime!