5 Questions with Monica Goyal

Monica Goyal is a lawyer and engineer. She has a law degree from the University of Toronto and Masters degree from Stanford University. She is also the founder of My Legal Briefcase, a first of its kind web-service designed to assist people with their Small Claims Court process.

What motivates you to do what you do on a daily basis?

My son.  I like to think that my work makes a difference in my son’s life and to others.  Having access to legal assistance is a struggle for many people, and I want to do what I can to help others get the legal information and advice they need.

If you had 30 seconds to impart your wisdom on a classroom of soon-to-be graduates, what would you say?

Follow your passion. Life is too short to not enjoy what you do. And if you hate your job, there will never be enough money to make you like it. I have seen so many people who are not happy because they are in a career that leaves them dissatisfied.  I love what I do, and each new day is an exciting adventure.

In your opinion, what has been one of the most important technological developments over the past 12 months?

The iPad.  Tablet devices have been around for years, and it is interesting how Apple can take something old and make it revolutionary, to the point that the iPad is now the must-have device. CES 2011 was said to be all about the tablet, with a lot of companies launching their own version of the tablet.  Will the iPad really change the way we communicate, socialize, and create and share knowledge?  Will it be just another device we want to have, or will it replace our laptops, or even our cell phones?  I’m excited to find out.

If you had a crystal ball, what would you say will be the most important technological development over the next 12 months?

Social TV.   Internet-based television is a really interesting and important technological development. Google TV, Apple TV, Netflix, Boxee – these devices will do for television what the iPod did for music.  And at the very least they have a better interface than from my cable provider.  I believe we are going to see more social apps and services around TV.  People sharing their shows with their friends.  Or chatting with their friends, while they all watch the same show together.

Who is one of Canada’s tech stars and why?

Michael Geist.  He is an authority in Canada’s legal community on policy issues related to technology.  Looking for someone to call out Rogers on their net neutrality compliance? He will do it.  He is admired not only in Canada but also in the US because he seems to have an equally strong grasp of technology and the law, and is respected by both communities.  That is not an easy achievement.