It’s no exaggeration to say that Monica Lopez Reinmiller lives and breathes social responsibility. For her, social responsibility is not simply something to focus on during off-hours in one’s spare time. It’s a way of life.
Lopez Reinmiller brings this passion to the table as the managing corporate counsel for compliance at T-Mobile, a role she took on in January 2017. She also does extensive pro bono legal work throughout the Seattle area. But her passion for social responsibility extends far past her tenure at T-Mobile—in fact, it has its roots in her childhood, when she grew up in a predominantly Latino community.
“We were watching out for each other and the greater community with an overriding sense of just making sure that people were OK,” she says. “If you could help, you would help. Everyone was conscious of representing our community and making sure that people didn’t fall down, so to speak.”
She developed a more professional interest in social responsibility during her college years and later at law school. Lopez Reinmiller held jobs all throughout college and strongly believed in supporting the businesses that employed and believed in her. In law school, her attention extended beyond local businesses and to the global stage.
“As I began studying international law and all these different ideas and principles of responsibility from a legal, corporate, and individual rights perspective, I really started gaining an affiliation and appreciation for compliance work,” she recalls.
“At T-Mobile, employees are fortunate that the company has taken a driver’s seat when it comes to facing, discussing, and driving progress toward racial equality.”
For Lopez Reinmiller, wireless telecommunications giant T-Mobile is the perfect place to exercise this dual passion for compliance and social responsibility. One way in which she’s been able to showcase her social responsibility prowess is by working on T-Mobile’s employee Code of Business Conduct, as well as the company’s Supplier Code of Conduct. As she explains, both codes represent ethical frameworks, expectations, and principles rooted in social responsibility for the company’s employees and business partners to follow.
Establishing consistent codes of conduct is more important to the organization than ever, as T-Mobile merged with Sprint in April 2020. As the primary attorney assigned to this project, Lopez Reinmiller takes great pride in updating the codes in a way that honors the newly joined organizations. “I have the responsibility of ensuring they align with the company’s values, culture, and who we are as a company out in the community; that they are reflective of our current environment and our commitment to be good citizens; and that they align with the expectations we have of business partners to do the same thing,” she explains.
Lopez Reinmiller also sits on a diversity taskforce committee in T-Mobile’s legal department, and the topic that has lately dominated discussions is the question of how to continue driving toward company-wide equity and equality. “At T-Mobile, employees are fortunate that the company has taken a driver’s seat when it comes to facing, discussing, and driving progress toward racial equality,” the attorney remarks. “I think a lot of big companies are at the beginning stages of their journey. T-Mobile mobilized rather quickly in the face of the George Floyd killing because, for the company, diversity wasn’t a second thought. It was something the company as a whole was very conscious of and very focused on, but it took on new meaning when that happened—and it’s only accelerated the discussion, the progress, and the steps the company’s taken.”
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While she believes wholeheartedly in the work she does every day at T-Mobile, Lopez Reinmiller is equally passionate about finding ways to give back outside of the office. She estimates she spends at least twenty hours a month doing pro bono work for several nonprofit organizations in the Seattle area, including Communities Rise, the Eastside Legal Assistance Program, and the Seattle Clemency Project. Through these organizations, she has helped families with basic estate planning, assisted Spanish-speaking business owners as they navigate legal matters, helped small business owners settle disputes, and more.
At the moment, Lopez Reinmiller is working with the Seattle Clemency Project to represent a client who has been incarcerated for more than thirty years, ever since he was a juvenile. Lopez Reinmiller wants to make sure that people such as her client are afforded legal representation if there is an opportunity for them to appeal a sentence or request clemency or early release on the basis of criminal justice reform.
This can all be time consuming, but Lopez Reinmiller wouldn’t have it any other way. She credits her family with supporting her in both her daily work at T-Mobile and her community service and activist efforts. “I have a daughter who’s seeing me model a certain commitment and behavior,” she said. “I’m hopeful she will model that later in life and that she’ll feel strong when it comes to giving back to her community, wherever that may be.
“When you demonstrate social responsibility and make it a priority,” she continues, “it really does follow you. It has a tendency to envelop the people around you, whether it’s your family, your friends, your network, or your coworkers.”
Greenberg Traurig, LLP: “Congratulations, Monica Lopez Reinmiller on the recognition of your legal accomplishments, contributions to T-Mobile and the compliance industry as a whole. We are proud to call you our partner and friend.” –Adelaida Vasquez Mihu and Sandra Gonzalez