Lynne Hermle of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe secured defense verdicts at trial in a pair of cases brought by former SpaceX employees which threatened the reputation of Elon Musk’s rocket manufacturing venture.

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?

Our tech clients are pushing hard for diversity at all levels and working on improving hiring and recruitment processes. Very optimistic, although I wish there were more women going into engineering and other technical fields.

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

We’re all responsible. Period. Speak up!

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

Develop a distinctive skill or focus. The market is increasingly competitive and you need to offer something special.

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

Teaching and writing.

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

Mitch Zuklie, hands down. Collaborative, smart, and always focused on doing the right thing; able to move a tough group to consensus even on the most difficult issues.

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

I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again—the lack of ability to disconnect.

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

The accelerating pace of innovation globally.

—Ross Todd