Hi, I’m Alix Devendra
I grew up in rural Northern New York, punctuated with a couple of stints in Zimbabwe.
When it came time to go to college, I wanted to find a place far from home—and much warmer. I lucked out on both accounts and wound up at Pomona College, in Southern California. I graduated cum laude with a degree in French literature.
After graduation, I miraculously found a way to put my degree to use by taking a job as a bilingual executive assistant in the Manhattan office of a French furniture company.
When I moved to Cleveland, Ohio (where my husband was going to school), it was harder to find a job that required speaking French. Instead I landed at a private trust company doing trust administration. This was a completely new world for me, and my first real exposure to lawyers. Once I saw how attorneys could help people (by setting up a special-needs trust, for example), I was inspired to apply to law school.
I stayed in Cleveland and attended Case Western Reserve University School of Law. I did all the things you’re supposed to do when you get good grades—externed with a federal judge, served on law review, summered at a large firm. I ended up graduating first in my class and taking a job in Big Law, even though that was not what I had set out to do.
It was only after I began practicing law that I discovered my interest in design. It started with reading Typography for Lawyers and learning how typography and graphic design could be used to improve legal documents. From there I learned about design thinking and all the other design disciplines that should be relevant to lawyers.
That discovery, coupled with the birth of my daughter, gave me the courage to leave my job at the law firm and start working as a freelance legal designer. That decision started me down a path of self-discovery; and it has been quite exciting to finally start to discover who I really am. I am an innovator, a systems thinker, a changemaker. I help people see new possibilities and focus on what could be.
One of the things I see is that the future of work will be very different. As Esko Kilpi says, in the future we will work in three different kinds of economic spaces: longer-term collectives; dynamic, shorter-term communities and projects; and very short-term flash networks. In the spirit of being the change you wish to see, I embrace working on a variety of projects with different groups of people with overlapping time horizons. Now that I understand my personal values and strengths, it’s much easier to do that without feeling like I am being pulled in too many directions. If you’d like to explore a possible collaboration, please reach out!