Driven by confidence in her capabilities to lead, Nur’ Isadora Ismail has never shied away from a challenge. As the managing partner of Messrs Isadora & Associates, she’s looking to set herself apart from her fellow legal peers.
Admittedly, there was no say that this would be her path. Like many others when asked what they wanted to be when they grew up, Isadora answered without knowing just how true it would be and eventually found a passion for law along the way.
Her career kickstarted in 2015 when she found herself working at Messrs Azmi & Associates under the supervision and guidance of the Senior Partner in the Senior Partner Office Department. And despite not having a specific role model that inspired her to persevere in her journey, Isadora confesses she found someone who came close in one of the managing partners of Messrs Azmi & Associates.
“I think it was his directorship and leadership that drove me to pursue success in my career today,” she admits.
Fast forward to 2017, Messrs Isadora & Associates was born; dedicated to providing legal services encompassing general litigation matters, debt recovery, foreclosure cases, legal documentation on conveyancing, corporate and commercial agreements, and such.
Jumping into fresh waters, the young professional had to deal with her own share of challenges that came with having to handle everything on her own; especially with only a years' worth of experience in the industry. But it wasn’t impossible.
Despite a rocky start, the firm managed to push through uncertainty to find steady ground. Isadora sums this success up as accomplishment of character and patience on her part for being able to persevere to where she is today saying, “I believe that whatever I aspire to be, I must achieve.”
“I’ve come to realise that as a business leader, one must cultivate the team into a group of competent and confident individuals. Our firm should be creating leaders, and that would not be possible if I could not make a leader out of myself first,” says Isadora confidently.
Amongst a slew of legal firms, Isadora knew that for her legal practice to stand out, she had to tap into an underserved market not commonly touched on by the legal industry in Malaysia. What would surprise many is that Messrs Isadora & Associates is one of the few practices to offer eSports, entertainment, and sports law.
eSports has become one of the most-watched sporting events in the modern era. Once a close-knit community of gamers just having fun, the industry has flourished to become as lucrative as other well-known competitions.
Popularity in online and mobile gaming has grown since its introduction, showing promise as a booming market that continues to draw in many young players. Aiming high, Isadora hopes that her firm becomes a pioneer in all things legal-related matters pertaining to the eSport arena.
Fittingly, Isadora became the only in-house legal adviser for TODAK, a big name in the e-sports industry and the representative for Malaysia in this year’s SEA Games, and all its subsidiaries in the esports and gaming industry. This is where she first witnessed the development of the e-sports industry.
“Based on our experience, we foresee that the development of the industry will not be static but continue to grow. There is a demand for legal representation in this market and it has become quite relevant for where we are today,” she comments.
This foresight has also served Isadora and her team when it came to how much the industry would change in the following years.
Fuelled by the economic reorganisation caused by the pandemic, legal institutions became limited by their conventional methods and had to adopt recent technologies, turning to virtual spaces for their day-to-day practices.
Many had to expand their services to include content creation on social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and TikTok under certain restrictions set by the bar council in a show of leniency.
For Isadora, this is seen as a welcome change. “If we have access to technology, this can provide us with solutions in approaching prospective clients more efficiently.”
She goes on to say that despite competition being one of the biggest challenges law firms face nowadays, this just presents an opportunity for practices to participate in legal marketing and business development initiatives, something most lawyers still lack an understanding of.
A champion for a more diverse industry, she also endorses this notion in her own firm, which is made up of mostly female legal powerhouses who she gives praise to for serving as the driving force behind each of the departments that make the firm. “I have full trust in my team. I don’t feel the need to worry should I not be in the office because I know I can rely on them to hold down the fort.”
Aiming high, Isadora is steadfast in her motivation to earn a reputation for the firm in dedicated legal excellence and hopes to become the most sought-after law firm in Malaysia someday soon.
As such, she's always on the lookout for lawyers who are independent, possess strong leadership qualities and strengthens firm and client relationships. The best advice she could give to those hoping to get their start in the legal industry? “Don’t be ordinary—if you decide to walk this path, aim to be the best that you become indispensable.”
“Grow slowly but diversify your practice areas and take the time to understand the changes that are occurring in the market now. It may not be what you expected but those changes are going to provide great opportunities.”
Penny For Your Thoughts
How would you define a “good life” and/versus a “successful life”?
A good life probably refers to being fulfilled in all aspects of life; something we should all be thankful for, but that doesn't necessarily make it a successful life. We can live moderately, but a successful life would mean going beyond miles of achievements.
If you could choose to be anyone in the world—fictional or non-fictional—who would you want to be, and why?
Though I have some names in mind, I would rather just be myself. Everyone is created differently and it's the differences that makes us unique.
Advice you would give your younger self.
Choose to be around good people and don't let the same mistakes happen twice.