Meet our newest partner in the Orange County office, Gouya Ranekouhi! Gouya has been with the Labor & Employment litigation team at O’Hagan Meyer since July 2018. Gouya’s litigation practice focuses on defending employers in employment actions under the Fair Employment and Housing Act including gender, pregnancy, race, ancestry, age, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, wrongful termination claims, retaliation matters, and wage and hour class actions.
Where did you grow up?
I was born in Torrance, California and lived there until I was about 2 years old. We then moved to Laguna Niguel, California (Orange County) so I consider myself to be a South OC girl, born and raised!
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A lawyer! I talked A LOT as a kid (my name in Farsi means well-spoken and gregarious) and I loved to argue, debate, and prove my point on just about anything. Also, my grandfather was the Secretary of Law in the Iranian Parliament (pre-1979 revolution) and would tell me the most fascinating stories that got me interested in the law. As a kid, he’d always tell me that I’d make a great lawyer, and voilà, here I am!
What do you love most about being a lawyer?
As lawyers, we are problem solvers. It is our job to come up with creative solutions and strategies to protect our clients’ interests. I love using my problem-solving skills to help people, but beyond that, what I love most about being a lawyer is connecting with people with unique backgrounds, stories, and dreams that led them to where they are today. Our clients are people with raw emotions and feelings and the roller coaster of litigation can be exhausting for them. It’s the interpersonal connections made and the development of a strong foundation of trust with my clients that allows me to truly understand their insecurities and help them navigate the difficult times.
When I’m not in the office, I like to…
Oh so many things! I love to workout, spin, hike/discover new hiking trails, watch basketball (Go Lakers!), spend time with family and friends, spoil my niece and dog Bella, lay/tan next to any body of water, and binge watch Netflix shows.
What is one app on your phone you cannot live without?
Instagram—my go to app to watch cute puppy videos when I’m having a bad or stressful day.
In what section of the bookstore would we find you?
Autobiography/Memoires section—I love reading about the lives of strong, powerful women who have shattered glass ceilings and climbed hills to pave the way for the next generation of women that come after them.
What is at the top of your bucket list?
To go on an African safari and trek through the African rainforests.
What is your favorite meal?
Any homemade Persian dish by my mother or any combination of Mexican food. Tacos and Tequila, yes please!
If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
It’s a toss up between Michelle Obama (bonus points if she brings Barack with her) and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
What is the best concert you’ve ever been to?
Adele—she is a phenomenal vocalist and the way she brings the text she sings alive gives me goosebumps.
Where is your favorite place to travel?
I have three: (1) Iran—I’ve been there six times to visit family who still live there and I miss them all greatly. I love traveling to different cities and exploring the different regions’ food, culture, and historical sites. (2) Paris, France—I studied French for nine years and wish I had more opportunities to speak the language I love, in the city of love! (3) Anywhere in South America. I’ve only been to four countries in South America so far, and I’ve absolutely loved them all. The people. The food. The culture. The colors. I can’t wait to go back!
What is your definition of success?
My definition of success is believing in yourself and having peace of mind that what you’ve accomplished and where you are in life today is a result of hard work, sacrifice, dedication, and commitment. When you are confident in who you are and what you have to offer the world, and believe wholeheartedly that you absolutely deserve a seat at the table where you are sitting, you’ve achieved success.