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Young Lawyers Interest Network Senior Lawyer Spotlight – Sophia Lizzio

Kelly Blount


  • Membership in the Therapeutic Jurisprudence, and the Bocconi Alumni Community, who are actively involved in the Alliot Global Alliance, offers global solutions to clients with cross-border requirements. 
  • Importance placed on planning, maintaining quality standards, incomparable principles regarding clients for developing a professional identity aligned with legal values and personal mission.
  • Work-life balance should be maintained for personal and professional growth and maintaining boundaries with clients while spending quality time with family and friends.
Young Lawyers Interest Network Senior Lawyer Spotlight – Sophia Lizzio
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What is your current role? What does that mean day to day?

I am a dual qualified lawyer in Europe and U.S.A. currently based in Athens, Greece. I qualified in Italy (2006), Greece (2008) and New York (2022).

I am a transactional attorney mostly working with corporate, hospitality and real estate transactions. I run an Italian Desk in a Greek law firm (Foutsis & Partners) where I take care of Italian clients, Greek and international clients with cross border interests. I mostly draft legal documents in English but speak several languages and can facilitate understanding and negotiations between the parties in Italian, Greek, Spanish, French and Portuguese.

I provide practical legal assistance on various issues: preliminary legal advice, drafting and commenting on hospitality, real estate, development and commercial contracts, management of residential and commercial leases, handling of negotiations, proposing extra judicial agreements to solve disputes. I have assisted European clients on legal matters related to RE investment in the USA, coordinating with a local team.

I also work closely with the Italian Embassy in Athens and help Italian citizens with legal issues in Greece in addition to my corporate core business, often pro bono.

What other professional organizations do you belong to and how have these helped to shape your career?

After qualifying in New York, I have been a member of the New York State Bar Association (International Section) and have set up the Greek Chapter.

I am part of the fiduciary board of the International Society for Therapeutic Jurisprudence (ISTJ). Therapeutic Jurisprudence is an approach to the law that uses the law itself to obtain better results for people’s lives (yes, this is actually possible!). Connecting my interest in TJ and my ABA membership, I have recently co-written “Professional Identity Formation through Therapeutic Jurisprudence (TJ)” where we explore how applying law in a TJ manner is a simple and “ready to use” tool to fulfill the revised ABA Standards for the development of professional identity in the legal profession.

As Bocconi Law School graduate, I have had the chance to develop a parallel legal and entrepreneurial career, building a capacity to understand commercial issues that drive legal decisions. This is the main reason why I am also an active member of the Bocconi Alumni Community. Bocconi University is one of the few European Universities top ranked worldwide and the Alumni Community connects strong professionals around the globe.

Finally, as part of the Foutsis & Partners law firm, we are part of the Alliot Global Alliance (AGA): an alliance of law firms and accountants with offices in almost 100 countries able to offer global solutions to clients with cross border requirements in different fields.

If you could share one piece of advice with your law student-self, what would it be?

Day to day practice needs a lot of planning to work out well! Clients and daily needs pop up even unplanned, and it is hard to keep everyone happy. I would like to dedicate more time to my TJ development and expansion, but then work priorities bypass my plans and I have to leave my interests and hobbies for “later”. This has pushed me to develop excellent interpersonal and communication skills, a positive attitude and to strive to keep high quality standards without compromise to detail or ethics.

Urgency doesn’t mean you can do it “worse” or in a way that doesn’t match your values – you should never trade your principles for any client. This is why I believe it is very important to be exposed to the principles of TJ early on in a law student’s or young professional career - developing a professional identity that allows you to express yourself in line with a set of legal values that also mirror your personal values and mission in the world, the legal profession is challenging and goes on quick rhythms - there is often not enough time to recover from stress. I strongly believe being able to practice in a TJ way gives us professionals an inner motivation to go ahead. My main strengths are: quick understanding of client’s needs, advice on critical decision-making and accuracy even under pressure.

What's your secret for work-life balance?

If you are single, make sure to travel and discover the world along with your professional development. If you are in a relationship, make sure you have a partner who understands being a lawyer is a lifestyle and doesn’t end at the office. Still, make sure you draw your lines with clients and keep offline whenever possible spending time with your friends and family. (I didn’t become a doctor to not have to be on call all the time!)