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Meet Romina Keshishyan of RK Legal in Glendale

Today we’d like to introduce you to Romina Keshishyan.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My parents immigrated to Glendale, California from Armenia in the late 80’s and I was born in Glendale. Ever since I was young, I enjoyed academia and excelled in it–so much so that my elementary school selected another student and I to attend a program to enrich students about law, life, U.S. history and politics. We were flown to Washington DC, toured the White House, and it is now a memory deeply etched in my psyche. I quickly realized I wanted to be an orator–to help people in the only way I knew how.

In the early 2000’s, my family and I moved to Lakewood, Colorado. My brother, Denis, was scouted by an Olympic gymnastics coach and the rest was history. Almost four (4) years later, we moved back to Glendale and I finished high school there. In the two years at Glendale High School, I spearheaded the Junior State of America, a non-partisan youth organization. We fundraised for various non-profit organizations–domestically and internationally–and I used that momentum when I graduated and attended UC Berkeley. There, I became a student organizer for a labor union originally based in Oakland, California.

After three years at UC Berkeley and a Poli Sci major to boot, I took one year off before I started law school. In 2011, I moved to Armenia for a few months (after only having visited the country once in my life) and volunteered for a non-profit organization called the Institute for Democracy and Human Rights. We ran various human rights campaigns and I used the knowledge (and wisdom) I gained from union-organizing in the Bay Area and applied it country-wide in Armenia.

I attended Loyola Law School and served as a judicial extern for the Honorable Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. I clerked for various law firms that specialized in business and union law. I also served as a law clerk for SEIU Local 721, the Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA) and worked for an independent federal agency, the National Labor Relations Board.

When I graduated, I worked for a firm that specialized in California wage and hour class actions. After two (2) years, I took a leap (of faith and willful blindness) and created RK Legal. I represent California employees in most matters of employment. January 2021 marks three years of RK Legal, and we are so lucky to have a growing staff equally committed to help California employees.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The road to success is rarely paved with smooth asphalt.

There have been many dips, bumps, and grooves I have encountered, both as a young female attorney and an Armenian businesswoman.

Sometimes I have to tell clients uncomfortable realities about their case that they may not want to hear. Sometimes in the zealous representation of my clients, I have to attack my opponents in ways that may contravene my own personal code in dealing with people. Sometimes I have to challenge a Judge if they are wrong on the law, even if this means a Judge insults me for challenging their authority. Sometimes I have to tell a prospective client they don’t have a viable case when all I want to do is help them.

And sometimes, I have to put aside being a civil litigator and deal with the business-side of things, like payroll, maintaining a brick-and-mortar, and hoping my staff doesn’t leave me in protest!

We’d love to hear more about your business.
I represent California-based employees in most matters of employment. This includes wage and hour cases (class actions and single-plaintiff cases), wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and workers’ compensation cases (for workers injured on-the-job).

The wage and hour component relates to non-payment of overtime to hourly, non-exempt current/former employees, unpaid off-the-clock work, employers failing to provide meal/rest breaks to employees, and employees not receiving a corresponding premium payment for these meal/rest break violations. I also represent individuals who were misclassified, either as an independent contractor or incorrectly classified as a salaried, exempt employee.

The wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, and retaliation component deals with illegal employer activity surrounding one’s race, ethnicity, religion, gender, disability, pregnancy, sexual harassment, and employer retaliation against whistleblowers.

I am proud that we have a team committed to help employees who have been wronged by their current or former employers. I am also proud that I have created both a serious but also fun environment to work and foster a culture which serves workers while also enjoying the process.

In my conversations with both prospective and existing clients, I have often been told I am a patient and attentive listener. This is one of the biggest compliments that I have received and I believe this sets our firm apart. Too often in this industry, people complain about lawyers who don’t listen and/or who don’t care. With RK Legal, I want to change that one client at a time.

What were you like growing up?
I was the rambunctious kid that wanted to do everything in half the time. Still am.

I played the piano, xylophone, took swimming lessons, went to Armenian Saturday-school to learn how to read/write in Armenian, discovered that I could sing opera (coloratura soprano), starred in high school musicals, and plays, conducted a choir, started choirs in the Bay Area and in Los Angeles, was an extra in a film, wrote poetry and blogs about my observations of the randomness of life. Told everybody I’d be the next President. I shimmied my way into the hearts and minds of strangers, colleagues, and friends.


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Irina Logra

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