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064 Developing Professionalism and Executive Presence as a Lawyer- An Interview with Krystin Hernandez Part 1

In this episode, Christina Martini and Krystin Hernandez discuss: 

  • Why Krystin decided to become a lawyer and her professional journey to becoming an in-house attorney. 
  • Creating a strong personal brand of professionalism and presence as a lawyer. 
  • Keeping the conversations and dress professional when in a professional situation. 
  • Millennials and the multi-cultural workplace. 

Key Takeaways: 

  • Work hard and seek out education that will help you reach your dream position. 
  • Understanding the business side can help you to become a better commercial lawyer. 
  • Emotional intelligence to understand the culture of your organization is vitally important. 
  • Dress for your day – not just what meetings you have, but also who you want to be and what you may be doing. 


“In order to build my brand as a potential, future leader, which is something I aspire to, I really need to change how these people view me: from a young, individual who’s a new law school graduate, to a serious attorney that’s been practicing for over 9 years and really could be a potential leader.” —  Krystin Hernandez 


About Krystin Hernandez: Ms. Hernandez is Senior Counsel for McDonald’s Corporation, the world’s leading global food service retailer with more than 36,000 locations globally, serving approximately 69 million customers in more than 100 countries each day. More than 80% of McDonald’s restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent local business men and women. 

Ms. Hernandez provides legal advice and counseling relating to business and commercial transactions pertaining to McDonald’s supply chain, equipment, operations, government relations, finance, antitrust compliance and commercial transactions. She also conducts training on various topics, including antitrust compliance and internal best practices for McDonald’s business teams. 

She has been practicing law in-house at McDonald’s since July of 2010. She began her practice in McDonald’s real estate, negotiating leases for special venue restaurant locations, such as museums, malls, airports, tollways and military bases. She spent three years in the corporate commercial group advising clients and negotiating supplier agreements relating to equipment and restaurant building materials, followed by two years supporting US franchisees in their franchising agreements and business operations, before returning to her commercial practice in a new role including support for McDonald’s sustainability, marketing and intellectual property functions.  

Ms. Hernandez is licensed to practice law in Illinois. She received her BS and JD from the Illinois Institute of Technology and Chicago-Kent College of Law after being accepted into its Honors Scholars program which offers an undergraduate and a law degree in six years and a full-tuition law school scholarship. Ms. Hernandez became the first student to complete the program in five years. She also serves as the chair of the Association of Corporate Counsel’s Chicago’s Diversity Summer Internship Committee. Ms. Hernandez grew up in Chicago, Illinois and graduated from Loyola Academy. 



Connect with Krystin Hernandez: 

LinkedIn: Krystin Hernandez 


Connect with Christina Martini: 

Twitter: @TinaMartini10 


LinkedIn: Christina Martini 



Show notes by Podcastologist: Chelsea Taylor-Sturkie 

Audio production by Turnkey Podcast Productions. You’re the expert. Your podcast will prove it.  


About the author, Christina Martini

For nearly 25 years, Christina (Tina) Martini has been an intellectual property attorney practicing in BigLaw. Tina is a partner at the law firm McDermott Will & Emery and focuses her practice on domestic and international trademark and copyright law, as well as domain name, Internet, social media, advertising and unfair competition law.

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