By Riley Jon Veazey
Looking back at her career, Christine Coldiron, a successful legal professional and proud member of the LGBTQ+ community, reflected with us on her very first Lavender Law® Conference. As a lawyer and businessperson balancing family life, Coldiron spoke about her “twisty career journey.” Currently, she works for T-Mobile using her combined business and law degrees. The early connections Coldiron made at Lavender Law® would go on to help her land a summer associateship with the global law firm Linklaters.
FROM LAVENDER LAW® TO LINKLATERS
While studying for a joint JD/MBA at the Washington University in St. Louis School of Law, Coldiron immersed herself in her local LGBTQ+ community as a leader of her local OutLaw affinity group. Coldiron says that during this time she went out of her way to find opportunities to practice interviewing and professional networking, which led her to register for the 2008 Lavender Law® Conference and Career Fair in San Francisco. Coldiron was able to network with fellow attendees during the event, and realized through these interactions that she wanted to pursue a legal career over one in business. A natural introvert, Coldiron was glad to notice that those at the conference were affirming and welcoming, stating that Lavender Law® provided her with “an automatic sense of community” surrounded by other students and future peers in the LGBTQ+ community. One of Coldiron’s friends who was also attending the conference introduced her to a representative of Linklaters, sparking a connection which helped her obtain a summer associateship and kickstart her legal career. This was an opportunity that otherwise would not have been accessible to Coldiron because at that time Linklaters did not typically conduct on-campus interviews outside the east coast. Coldiron reflects, “I had that initial gate opened — and was given that initial boost — as a function of the connections I made at Lavender Law®.”
THE FUTURE IS MAGENTA
Though Coldiron had decided to jump-start her career in Big Law, she maintained her passion for business and knew she wanted to take her career in-house where she could get to know an industry and support a single client. Coldiron’s internship and first years of practice in cross-border debt finance at Linklaters provided her with foundational practice skills and experiences that she has carried with her throughout her career. After leaving Linklaters’ magenta halls to join Davis Wright Tremaine’s Seattle-based M&A practice, she found her way back to other magenta halls, joining T-Mobile’s in-house transactions team in 2016, where she is now a Senior Director of Legal Affairs, managing a team of Technology & Device Procurement attorneys.
Coldiron is proud to say that thus far, all of her employers have been nothing but supportive of her and other members of the LGBTQ+ community. She is currently a member of T-Mobile’s Uncarrier pride affinity group and encourages others, particularly those new to the legal profession, to be open about their LGBTQ+ identity in the workplace. If you would like to hear more from Coldiron regarding her career and experiences, she will be speaking on the “How to Go In-House: Career Advice for Law Students and Laterals from Seasoned In-House Counsel” panel on Friday, July 30 during the virtual 2021 Lavender Law® Conference and Career Fair.