Erika Pagona

Erika is the Head of Legal Innovation and Design at Simmons Wavelength. She is an award-winning lawyer, innovator, and educator whose sweet spots include culture creation, leadership, strategy, teaming, technology, and cross-border initiatives.

Having dedicated nearly a decade to change, creativity, and client centricity in the legal profession, Erika works with a wide variety of clients on harnessing the power of applied legal design—that is, taking a holistic and practical approach to how visual, verbal, and technological factors add value to communications, processes, and interactions by facilitating accelerated digitalization, ensuring simplicity and streamlining, and creating competitive advantage. She leads the world’s first and only legal design team housed within a global law firm.

Prior to joining Simmons, Erika was a full-time academic at the University of Miami School of Law and led legal innovation and culture creation projects for some of the world’s largest corporations and law firms. She was also the Director of LawWithoutWalls, the world’s largest legal innovation education nonprofit that enables teams of lawyers, business professionals, and students from six continents to collaborate and hone their creative and cultural competencies. In these roles, Erika has taught thousands of students and professionals the skills needed for success in the 21st century legal profession. Between her undergraduate and law degrees, Erika lived and worked in China. She has a background in broadcasting, a love for speaking Spanish and Chinese, and will never turn down another Sichuan cookbook.

Erika has been recognised by the Financial Times and the British Legal Awards. She is a regular speaker and published author. She also serves as Guest Faculty at IE University (Madrid), where she teaches courses on innovation in the legal profession at both the undergraduate and Masters levels. She sits on multiple boards (Georgetown Class of 2008 Committee, LawWithoutWalls Advisory Board, Awesome Foundation London, University of Miami School of Law Alumni Board and National Advisory Council, and ILTA Law School Advisory Group) and is a graduate of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and the University of Miami School of Law, where she served as Managing Editor of the University of Miami Law Review.