I met Bora at a May 2015 event for young lawyers at her then-firm Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP in Downtown LA. When we realized we were both involved in leadership for different bar organizations (at the time, Bora sat on the board of the California Young Lawyers Association), we discussed potentially collaborating on a future event.[i]
Bora earned her J.D. from UCLA in 2012 and her B.A. from Boston University in 2006. She is currently a Government Enforcement and White Collar Crime Associate in the London office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP and Affiliates.
Having been in London for a year now, she can confidently say her favorite coffee shop is Farm Girl in Notting Hill, her favorite pub is the Churchill Arms on Kensington Church Street (which apparently serves the best Thai food), and her favorite park to walk her dog is Hampstead Heath.
Bora did not always want to be a lawyer, but knew that whatever she did she wanted to live abroad or, at the very least, have a career that allowed her to travel. Bora desired to explore new places and new cultures.
Having that vision early on, Bora double-majored in international relations and French language and literature in college. She studied abroad in France, including an internship component where she worked in marketing and sales for a French company. Upon graduation, Bora joined Aperian Global; there she focused on assisting companies and executives conduct business effectively across cultures.
Realizing she wanted more, professionally, Bora attended law school. After earning her law degree, Bora practiced in the U.S. for four years. She focused on commercial litigation and white-collar work, including internal investigations on a variety of fraud-related matters and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Bora worked hard. She and I exchanged countless emails when we were collaborating on an event, and one exchange in particular stands out. I had followed up with her on an outstanding question at 10:22 p.m. one Wednesday in November 2015. She responded at 10:23 p.m., saying, “Sorry, I actually meant to email today – but STILL in the office.” Lawyer life.
During her fourth year as an attorney, around the time of this email exchange, Skadden offered Bora the opportunity to move to London to advise European clients on a variety of matters involving U.S. laws including anti-corruption, sanctions, tax fraud, and anti-money laundering, and to represent them in enforcement actions brought by U.S. authorities such as the DOJ and SEC.
So in March of 2016, off to London Bora went—along with her husband and their dog.
Bora admits she felt more prepared for her practice abroad than for her personal adjustment to life in a new country and a new culture. So excited about the move and about fulfilling her lifelong dream, Bora glossed over how the move might affect her personally. She missed her Los Angeles friends and colleagues; she missed the familiar restaurants, bars, and shops of Echo Park, Downtown LA, and El Sereno—where Bora had spent eight years of her life.
That said—a year in, Bora is now settled in London. Work is going well, and her husband and dog are settled too. Bora said, “In many ways, I am grateful for this part of the transition, even though it was difficult, because it has shaped my personality to become stronger, more confident, and more flexible in accepting change. “
If you’re in London today, you might see Bora shopping at her favorite market, Broadway Market in London Fields, eating at her favorite restaurant, Peckham Bazaar, or sweating it out at her favorite workout studio, BARREtoned in Notting Hill.
Bora wanted adventure in the great wide somewhere and seized it on the highest level. She did not always know where or how, but she knew she would journey somewhere, somewhere beyond “here.” In so doing, Bora has been killing it.
[i] We ultimately did collaborate on an event in January 2016—not long before Bora moved to London.