10 questions to Miroslava Zelenáková 

Are you wondering why our employee Miroslava Zelenáková wanted to be a lawyer, who motivates her, and what experience from the field left the largest mark on her? Read answers to all the questions that she provided for the social section of the law newspaper epravo.sk.

JUDr. Miroslava Zelenáková is the head of one of the M&A departments of the law firm RELEVANS, within the framework of which she, among other things, ensures personal, organisational and economic management of her team. Outside of the traditional M&A/ Corporate agenda she also personally specializes in the business-tax setup of transactions and the area of Banking & finance. She is the co-author of the first edition of ‘Great commentary to the Market law’ from publisher EUROKÓDEX (2016).

1. Will you recommend us some interesting book?

I love books and read a lot, and therefore picking only one tends to be difficult. That’s why whenever someone asks me, I recommend the last book that left an impression on me. Only a month ago my answer would be ‘Promised Land’ by Barack Obama. In the period since, however, my sisters Christmas gift got into my hands, and therefore my current tip is the book  ‘The years without law’. The unbelievable tale of the raid in Moldova by Sam Marco and Veronika Prušova. It is a great book, written in an enticing reporting style that forces you to give various things a thought.

2. What would you tell the young people that are considering a career in law?

To contact a lawyer in praxis or another law-related professional before they make this decision. It is crucial that a person has a real idea what the job that they are planning to dedicate the rest of their life to really holds. For example, in the case of law it is in my opinion important to realize three points. First of all, law is not a ‘9 to 5 job’. Sometimes we work for 6 hours a day, other times 16. It always depends on the needs of the client. Secondly, we spend most of the time behind a computer. Of course, we also meet with clients, opponents and go on proceedings. However, compared to the hours spend on research or contract writing. Submissions or analyses are significantly smaller part of our agenda. Third of all, considering that each country operates under different law, to add to which law is additionally deeply tied to language, if you choose a career in law, you will have very limited options of employment abroad compared to other jobs.

3. What would you be if not a lawyer?

A literary critic.

4. What kind of people anger you the most?

Usually those that involve themselves in things that have nothing to do with them. It is even worse if they simultaneously disrespect the fact that people can have different opinions from them and attempt to worse their worldview upon you.

5. Why did you choose to become a lawyer?

Most people would, in this situation, probably answer, that their reasoning was the belief in justice, the desire to help people or American shows. My reasoning was much more prosaic.  When I was in high school my best friend had decided to become a lawyer. I myself had absolutely no idea about my future career and so I told myself that I will go with her and at least we will be together. Paradoxically, this friend of mine was convinced at last minute to switch to economy by her parents.

6. Will you share with us an unforgettable experience from the field?

When I used to part-time at the executive office as a student and obliged came to explain why he isn’t capable of paying off his loans. He talked about how he lost his job, his wife left him along with their children and his apartment burnt down in quick succession. Someone with a relatively organized life therefore had his world fall apart around him, becoming a person without a home, who didn’t even know whether he will have food to eat next day. He came to the office that day primarily so that he could have a conversation with someone. Therefore, as a homeless person people avoided him, and he felt as though due to the lack of conversation he was losing his grip on words and the ability to express himself, which was especially difficult for him as a high school graduate and a scientist. I hope that he finds himself in a better situation nowadays.

7. Decisiveness is surely a requirement in your career, however are there moments in life where you feel indecisive?

In personal life I am constantly indecisive no matter what is in question. Therefore, I usually spend unbelievably long considering all my options, and even then, I still end up searching for someone that could decide for me. I am probably compensating that I cannot allow myself to be indecisive at work.

8. What is the ideal trip according to you?

It definitely should be a combination of hiking, sightseeing and relaxing at the beach with a drink in the hand. I like to stay active and when I already decide to go somewhere I have the tendency to see and experience everything. I can’t take the idea that I am missing out on something, which in exchange often drives my travelling partners to desperation.

9. Who motivates you the most in your professional or personal life?

Definitely my boyfriend. He has an incredible outlook and relentlessly works on himself. When you have a person like that by your side, you have no options but to also try. Other than him I am also motivated by everyone that has accomplished something, no matter in what area of expertise. Achievements of other are inspiration for me. At the same time, it is a double-edged sword, as a person keeps constantly comparing himself to others and often ends the day unsatisfied with themselves.

10. How often does something in your field surprise you?

Not very often. In our job a person has to be able to predict, and be prepared for, the fact that complications that they didn’t account for might arise. As a transactional lawyer I try to thing up to even three steps ahead and guess how will the other side argument. However, when some surprise happens to appear, it is unfortunately usually not a very positive one.