Sara Harrington, Linkedin courtesy photo

Sara Harrington, VP, Legal-IP, Product & Privacy at LinkedIn Corp., led the legal team navigating the ever-changing privacy and data protection landscape for the 500-million member professional networking site as it was acquired by Microsoft Corp.

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 don’t think Silicon Valley has been rocked: We can only measure that when we see noticeable change. I am inspired by the women who have spoken out about their experiences and bravely called it out as wrong. I was glad to see public support for them.

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

… Trying to find another industry that is full of smart, creative and hardworking people who like to team up to take on a challenge.

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

I have more than one:

(1) Please give up on the open seating. It’s not good for doing thoughtful work and doesn’t make most people more productive.

(2) That in many tech companies, lawyers (and G&A) tend to be “left over” functions because so much attention is on finding and keeping R&D teams happy.

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

Tech lawyers have to constantly invest in learning—in law and tech. Tech lawyers (like other lawyers) are not just trying to mop up after an issue, but to also get ahead, see what may be coming and help your clients to successfully navigate change.

— Ross Todd