When it comes to transactional law, Ajay Jindia (J.D. ’97) has experience in a variety of roles. Jindia is currently living in St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands where he is the Chief Legal and Compliance Officer for Cane Bay Partners. The company specializes in consulting, analytics, and portfolio management.
Prior to moving to St. Croix, Jindia made a name for himself in the Atlanta legal community from more than 20 years of work in the city. From having his own firm that worked mostly with startups, to working as in-house counsel for companies such as Simmons Bedding Company and working in private practice, Jindia is glad each step led him to his current position. Here, he discusses his career evolution and gives advice to those just starting out.
What do you enjoy about your current role?
My day-to-day changes every day, which is great. There’s a lot of putting out fires. There’s a lot of moving parts in the company and we have a lot of customer-facing activities, which always comes with its own issues. But Cane Bay is just a really great company that is tremendously involved in the community down here. Unlike in private practice, as a chief legal and compliance officer I have a business responsibility here. I feel like I’m contributing. I’m a value add here, not just a cost. There’s something fun about going to work when you’re a part of the team.
How did you end up at Georgia State Law?
I’m from Baton Rouge so I was working in New Orleans for a bank. I decided I wanted to go to law school, so I took a job in the in bank working in their legal department, and somehow wasn’t scared off from it and so applied. I wanted to go to a school that was in a larger city environment, because I wanted to do corporate law. Georgia State Law was great for that, because I had externships with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Reserve Bank and the Department of Justice. I was accepted to a couple of different schools, but it really just came down to where I thought would be the best place for me to be long term and that was Atlanta.
Do you have any advice for current students?
Take the time to talk to your professors and get to know the faculty and staff. There are a lot of good, smart, and well-intentioned people at Georgia State Law. Talk to these folks, get to know them because if you can build a bond with them, they will help you.
I’ll give you a perfect example. My first job was because of the relationship that I had Vickie Brown, who was the director of the Career Services Office at the time. I used to go in there and just talk to her. My third year I got a phone call from her. She said, ‘Ajay, I just got a fax that is still warm in my hands for a job opening and it sounds like it would fit you.’ I faxed my cover letter and resume immediately, and the employer called me and said, ‘I just got your cover letter and resume. I don’t know what kind of thing you got going that you were able to respond to this so fast, but it’s enough for me to want to talk to you.’ That was my first job.
Interview by Mara Thompson