Lawyer profile: Sonia Abodja

Written on
31 March 2024
  • You spent an impressive 15 years with NMCG Avocats. Can you tell us about the key moments in your career?

My first pleading, of course, the one in which, for the first time, you stand alone before the magistrates (since for me it was a hearing before the Paris Court of Appeal) and apply all the precepts you’ve been taught for so many years… The first favorable deliberation you obtain makes you feel that you’ve accomplished your mission, in line with the expectations of the client, of course, but also of yourself, because practicing this profession means putting a little bit of yourself into each case, in terms of both energy and investment. And more broadly, all those who followed, celebrating 10 years and then 15 years of NMCG when, as a fresh graduate, I walked through the firm’s door without knowing that I was going to contribute to this magnificent personal and professional adventure, seeing our team grow year after year, but also and obviously my appointment as Arnaud’s Partner.


  • Apart from the professional aspects, what are the cultural elements or values of your law firm that have motivated you to stay for so long?

NMCG promotes an essential value that I share, that of hard work and a job well done. So it’s only logical that I should feel fulfilled doing my job with this organization for so many years, because we always strive to give our very best to all the projects we manage with conviction, determination and professionalism. Once again, these are values that are dear to me, in addition to those of benevolence and mutual respect, which make NMCG a firm that puts people at the heart of its concerns.


  • What has been the hardest obstacle to overcome in your profession? What solution did you find?

There are no real obstacles, strictly speaking, but some cases are more complex than others, because they require reconciling several divergent interests, for example. In such cases, it’s all about identifying the issues at hand, and making proposals for the customer, which means being bold, pugnacious and sometimes even creative.


  • Are there any lessons you’ve learned in your career that you’d like to share with other professionals?

I’ve learned how to manage emergencies and reassure clients, because behind every question or case is a man or woman who needs our expertise to solve a problem, of course, but also to help them manage a situation that can be uncomfortable, destabilizing or even dangerous… And knowing how to listen and restore confidence is not something you learn at law school, but in daily contact with these clients, and is acquired over the years.


  • Can you talk about the importance of collaboration within your team?

These are the foundations of our department, since without team spirit/collaboration between its members, the department’s balance and cohesion are threatened. Communication is a major asset, since it ensures the full transmission of information, but also the fluidity of exchanges.


  • When interviewing new employees, what are the key qualities or skills you look for in candidates, particularly in the field of employment law? And how do you assess their fit with NMCG Avocats’ culture and values during these interviews?

Thoroughness, organization and team spirit are the qualities we look for, and as far as skills are concerned, past experience with a complete profile, advice/litigation, individual and collective relations, are all aspects which are decisive in the choice of candidates… As far as assessment is concerned, it’s a question of appreciating their spontaneity, the quality of their elocution which is essential for pleading, but also their dynamism and energy which are all qualities to be put at the service of our customers and which we look for in our future collaborators.


  • How do you see the launch of private conferences with the Le Cercle by NMCG program, and how does it illustrate the evolution of the firm over the years?

I find this concept very enriching for our customers, who will be able to compare their experiences and expectations as company directors, HR managers, etc. with those of personalities from the world of politics, sport, etc., and fully appreciate the cross-disciplinary nature of certain subjects. Le Cercle By NMCG is also an opening onto new fields and a diversification of the offer made to our customers, which shows that we are a dynamic and innovative firm; in perpetual motion.

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