Growing up in Pueblo Nuevo, Diana Castaneda had friends from both sides of her class-divided neighborhood. No matter where you were from, everyone was welcome at her house. Her father was a lawyer, and her mother worked in the Free Zone, commuting long hours each day. She spent afternoons at her grandparents’ school, doing homework, and playing with her 4 younger siblings. They were a family that loved learning. Her petite, fiery younger sister, “who always loved to argue”, aspired to be an attorney. Diana, introverted and nurturing, dreamt of becoming a doctor.
At her first job, working for an airline, Diana fell in love with foreigners. “The diversity of Panama has always intrigued me. Everyone has a story, a new experience to share.” After studying medicine for a year at the prestigious Universidad Interamericana de Panama, Diana faced the reality that she and her family could no longer afford it.
“My parents encouraged me to focus on my studies. Work could wait until after university.” She agreed and transferred to the University of Panama to study Law, which she says “was the best decision I could have made. I love the law. Not because I love to argue, but because I am resolute. I prove that I’m right, and there is no argument.” She graduated and became an attorney 2 months before the pandemic shut down most of the world.
This didn’t discourage her. “Change is ok. Change can be beautiful, and it always brings opportunities.” Sure enough, during the pandemic, Outlier Legal and OLS Documents had expanded operations from Costa Rica and were looking for an amazing woman from Panama.
Diana is currently the lead attorney for Outlier Legal Services - Panama, and the Coordinator for OLS Documents - Panama. Contact: [email protected].