Ann Marie Mortimer, Hunton & Williams

Ann Marie Mortimer, the managing partner of the Los Angeles office of Hunton & Williams, is defending Yahoo Inc. in more than three dozen federal and state court consumer class action lawsuits stemming from the data breach reported to have affected as many as 1 billion users globally.

What piece of advice do you have for young lawyers in tech?

Be diligent, direct and pragmatic. Your job is to deliver the right advice, not the “popular” advice, while understanding the business needs, constraints and culture of your clients.

Who’s the best leader you’ve seen in action and why?

My mother. She had an ability to lead with focus, humor and an emphasis on directed collaboration that both energized and ensured task completion.

After the events that have rocked Silicon Valley this year, are you more or less hopeful about the prospects for women in the tech industry?

I remain optimistic that talent rules, and that the tremendously talented women in this industry will continue to break barriers and achieve great things.

Do lawyers bear any special responsibility in addressing gender stereotyping and discrimination in tech?

As human beings we all have a personal responsibility to be conscious of and work against harmful stereotyping of any type that results in discrimination. As citizen lawyers, we are gifted with great opportunity to influence, and correspondingly we have an obligation to positively do so.

If I could change one thing about working in tech, it would be …

The relentless pace and the sometimes too quick rush to judgment.

The No. 1 issue that keeps me and my clients up at night is …

Always evolving and changing, just as the business threats and opportunities are.

If I weren’t working in tech, I’d be …

A designer.

—Ross Todd