Even after studying for the LSAT and applying to law school, Inbal Hasbani wasn’t sold on the idea of a legal career. In fact, it wasn’t until she actually began her coursework that she recognized law as the perfect fit for both her personality and desire to make a tangible impact on people.
“I went into law school still not really sure,” Hasbani admits. “But I was amazed to find that I loved the law. It’s a fascinating space that applies intellectual reasoning to real issues that affect people.”
Hasbani’s real-world impact is clearer than ever in her latest role counseling the business at Cigna, a leader in the health services industry. The senior counsel prides herself on looking out for the company’s best interests, while navigating the healthcare space and staying true to herself.
Before discovering her passion for the law, Hasbani had considered pursuing academia. However, the more she explored that possibility, the less she saw it aligned with her goals. She set her sights instead on law school and went on to join international law firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP. She spent nearly ten years litigating a range of cases at the firm, including a few large matters, where she served on the plaintiff’s side.
“I tried one case while I was there that ended up being a huge win for the firm,” she says. “We were representing David against Goliath, and we won a lot of money on behalf of David. That was a major career highlight for me.”
Following that victory, Inbal Hasbani took the leap of faith that landed her at Cigna.
“I had done some pharmaceutical cases, but I’d never done classic healthcare litigation, so it was all very new to me,” she says, reflecting on the move in-house. “Just learning the language and how things work was a huge challenge for me—and I’m still learning, truly, every day.”
Inbal Hasbani started out handling primarily commercial litigation, which eased her into the healthcare business. As she adapted to the dynamics of in-house work, she found herself increasingly mindful of the relationships she was building within Cigna and more invested in the outcomes of her cases.
In April 2022, Hasbani transitioned out of litigation and into business law. “I had never done anything other than litigation,” she explains. “Now I’m doing a lot more contractual work, day-to-day counseling and supporting business teams to enable sustainable growth, which is very different because I’m not just advocating one position. I have to apply my understanding of the law, facts, and business goals to provide sound, pragmatic guidance, which is often trickier than simply taking one side of a case.”
Like initially joining Cigna, accepting her current role pushed Hasbani outside her comfort zone. Fortunately, she sees that as a good thing.
“There’s a lot of value in chasing the opportunities that come to you,” she confirms. “I was not actually looking for this new role, but I’ve realized that when those opportunities come, you should take them—even if they weren’t originally on your radar.”
Hasbani believes in the power of being authentic, too. “It’s a lot easier for me to build relationships if I’m being true to myself,” she says. “As soon as I’m posturing or not representing myself authentically, people feel that on the other end.”
Her ability to foster and maintain strong relationships remains critical as Hasbani looks to continue advancing Cigna’s Evernorth platform. “We are often cutting-edge,” she says. “I have to think about all of the supporting arguments and counterarguments, and then come up with a recommendation for the business.”
It may not always be easy, but Inbal Hasbani certainly is up for the challenge.
Lowey Dannenberg is the nation’s premier pharmaceutical recovery law firm, known for its depth of experience and consistent results. The Firm’s advice is valued by the largest health benefits companies in the United States, including Aetna CVS, Anthem, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, Cigna, HCSC, and Humana.