She’s Known For Her Comprehensive Hands-on Experience in The Growing Cannabis Industry. Meet Seattle Attorney, Fabiola Jimenez.
Cannabis is one of the most highly regulated emerging industries today. With its many Requirements understand the changing dynamics of licensing needs is critical.
With a background in corporate transactions, intellectual property, regulatory compliance, and marketing, she brings her immense expertise to help clients during every stage of business development, growth, and change. She aids her clients with issues regarding privacy, restricted product development, cannabis and CBD branding, and general business strategy for cannabis and CBD companies.
Q: When did you know you would pursue a career as an Attorney?
A: Since I was seven years old. It had always been my dream to be an attorney. When my classmates were dreaming of becoming singers or actors, I was busy trying to figure out the steps to becoming a lawyer. Being a first generation Mexican American and being the only one in my family to complete any schooling, I set my goals pretty high to give back to my parents for all of the sacrifices they made to be able to live in this country.
Q: Can you share with our audience, the types of law you specialize in?
A: My practice focuses on cannabis law, which includes hemp and CBD. In general, I work primarily with regulatory compliance matters but the other half of my practice deals with general business law matters like business development and corporate governance.
Q: What aspects of the daily job of being a lawyer interest you the most?
A: I really enjoy helping people and to be quite honest with you, most people only reach out to lawyers when they are having a bad day, so I really enjoy being able to provide my client with support on various matters. In particular working in the cannabis industry, every day is different, every day can be a rollercoaster of emotions – good/bad/ugly but I love what I do, I love being a lawyer, and I love being a resource for others.
Q: Why did you decide to attend law school?
A: Coming from very humble beginnings, and always being a creative person, I saw law school as opportunity to not only better my future but to better the people around me by being a resource. I did not know of any lawyers or even other professionals in my family or in my community and I wanted to be that for others. I also saw law school as a challenge – when you are constantly ridiculed and bullied for having the dream of becoming a lawyer and even going to college by your classmates and even family – it lights a fire in you that can’t be extinguished until you prove them wrong.
Q: What types of cases do you handle?
A: I deal with only transactional matters. So, purchasing a business, selling a business, creating a business, and performing regulatory compliance audits are part of my day to day. But overall, any transactional matters that come with a cannabis business – that is my ‘bread and butter.’
Q: What is your approach or philosophy to winning or representing a case?
A: I view every transaction as opportunity for both sides to win. I like to work with opposing counsel so that everyone walks away feeling comfortable with the deal they have. Don’t get me wrong, I am not afraid to viciously approach the other side if I see some injustices happening against my client and I surely will not let my client be taken advantage of.
But I am known for being a ‘results-driven’ attorney that laser focuses on my what client’s objective is and then strategizes the best plan to reach my client’s objective.
Q: If we interviewed all your past clients … what is “one” common word that comes up when they describe working with your law firm?
A: She is the best at coming up with creative solutions.
Q: What was the most challenging part of law school for you?
A: Everything. I was not a straight “A” student in law school, and it was hard juggling school and work full time, but I have never been afraid of hard work. I had to keep a job while I was in school so not only did I have to be disciplined in my time management, but I also had to be creative to make the most out of every interaction. Every event, every information interview I did was timed and organized so that I did not waste resources or opportunities.
I did not have the privilege of coming from a legacy family or living with my parents, so I was grinding hard 24/7 to make it.
Q: What advice would you give to young women who want to pursue a career as an Attorney?
A: Do it but be ready to face challenges that are not faced by men.
Spend time to figuring out what you actually want to do with your legal education. There are so many different paths to success and to reaching your goals that while law school does open a lot of doors for you, law school also causes you to make a lot of sacrifices. For some people it’s worth it, for some its not. There is nothing bad about going to law school, but it is definitely hard and time consuming.
Q: Were there moments in your career that were pivotal to getting where you are today?
A: The one that has been the most impactful to my career has been meeting my current boss. I knew that I wanted to get into the cannabis industry somehow and did not know how. So, night after night, day after day, I was cold emailing people on LinkedIn, applying to hundreds (and I do mean hundreds of jobs) and reading about the industry. So, I remember clearly sending my now boss an email at 11PM asking for an information interview via LinkedIn. He replied at 4AM stating that he only had that day for lunch open otherwise, he was out for the next couple of weeks. Within minutes of hearing my notification from LinkedIn, I said “yes, lunch works see you in a few hours.” I spent the rest of the morning prepping for the lunch meeting and when I finally met with him, I knew that this guy was only going to give me a few precious moments and there was no way I was not going to capitalize on it. So, I spent the rest of the lunch pitching my skills and ultimately asking for a job. He said ‘No’ but only because he had just hired someone, but he let me know that the firm was growing and to not lose touch. So, I didn’t – and within a few weeks, he gave me a call and wanted to me to start immediately – and here I am.
Q: What are the best practices you have employed to build a successful career?
A: Never be afraid to go after what you want. I have had so many doubters come in and out of my life and try to scare me from reaching for my goals, but I don’t give too much attention to those who are not willing to support me and in turn, I really try to be helpful to others and so long as you stay wanting to help others, opportunities are abound. You just have to keep your goals clear and be flexible with whatever life throws at you.
Q: What's your advice for women in male-dominated fields?
A: Keep your crown on your head ladies! Don’t ever let anyone make you feel like you don’t deserve a seat at the table.
Being in this field is a double whammy – not only is law a male-dominated field but so is the cannabis industry and I will not sugar coat anything by saying it’s been easy, it has not! But I wake every day, with drive and purpose. I never doubt myself. I am always my best cheerleader. And I always believe that I the best, that I am the baaddest bitch (feel free to edit for publication purposes) in the room – no matter who else is there. You must always take that extra time to build that inner confidence as your energy will resonate wherever you are – so make sure that your energy, whether it makes others in the room love you or hate you, is genuine. I have done a lot of reading of the different characteristics between men and women and one point that has stuck with me, for years now, is that men will over compensate for their abilities and skills while women are taught that they should down play theirs…obviously that didn’t set well with my so in an effort to level the playing field, I applied this same logic to myself.
Q: Can you tell our audience one of your most memorable moments your career?
A: Being featured in Forbes Magazine. It’s been a year since I was in the magazine, but it still gives me so much pride. I have on plaque at home, and I have one plaque in my office – just for good measure.
Q: What advice would you give to young women who want to succeed in the workplace?
A: My number one advice is to always step forward. Standing in the background will not get you anywhere. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or ask questions and try to find yourself another female mentor. I have had a few mentors in my life some male and some female and while both have provided invaluable advice, it’s hard for men to sympathize with women simply because they have not had the same struggles.
Q: Can you tell us how you manage your work life balance?
A: Over the years I have come to discover that mental health should be at the top of my priority list. As soon as I did that, my life became exponentially better. So, I always listen to my body – if I am tired I take a break or take the day off. I really try to make sure that I have at least one fun day for myself, whether that is hanging out with my family or friends or just having a day to sleep in and watch re-runs. Life is too short to believe that all you should be doing is working and not enjoying the fruits of your labor. Money comes and go, but time, time just goes and there is nothing you can do to get it back.
Q: What would be the title of your autobiography?
A: From the Fields to Forbes –
How a first generation Mexican American went from picking fruit orchards in Eastern Washington to being featured in Forbes Magazine for her work as a cannabis attorney.
15 Things About Attorney Fabiola Jimenez
1. What's your favorite family tradition?
Biting into the birthday cake and having your family push your head in all the way. Yes you will end up with frosting very far up your nostrils and you will most likely need another cake to feed everyone, but it is so much fun!
2. What celebrity would you like to meet at Starbucks for a cup of coffee?
Chris Evans. I would literally do unspeakable things to meet him because I know if we met, we would get married lol
3. What was the last book you really got into?
Relentless by Tim Grover
4. Among your friends, what are you best known for?
Being direct but thoughtful and having the ability to make anyone laugh.
5. What’s your favorite international food?
Carne Asada. This is by far my most frequently requested meal.
6. What’s your favorite app on your phone?
TikTock – but my second favorite is the Sleep Mode button on my phone.
7. What’s the most spontaneous thing you’ve done?
Flew to Europe and spent some time in Italy and Spain.
8. What’s your favorite quote or saying?
What is the worst that can happen, are they going to fight me?
9. What would your perfect vacation look like?
Staying in an overwater bungalow out in the middle of the ocean, with a private chef and a big stack of books.
10. Tell me about the best vacation you’ve ever taken.
I visited Acapulco Mexico with roughly about 30 of my cousins when I was young, and we all stayed at the same house with some kids camping in the backyard where you could smell the sea air while the rest of us stayed in the house overlooking the backyard. We are so much food, made such big messes that our parents were not too happy to deal with but that is a memory I still think about once in a while.
11. Do you read reviews, or just go with your gut?
I do read reviews; however, I judge those reviews very heavily as some people really don’t have any business providing their reviews – on anything. I don’t think I have never done something because I read a bad review, but I did use it to set my expectations. I also trust my gut a lot – so when something tells me I have to go or get out of a situation, I do it.
12.What’s your big passion?
Mentoring young women. I have been lucky enough in life to be able to share my years of struggle and pain to help others.
13. What’s your signature drink?
Coca-Cola. No Pepsi is not okay.
14. Would you rather cook or order in?
Cook. I love to entertain my family and friends and love to cook and try new recipes. I can’t bake to save my life, but I can definitely make something good in the kitchen.
15. Cake or pie?
Cake. The Celebration Cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory is my favorite right now and order it whenever I ca