At Lumen Legal, innovation fuels our work. As a result, we enjoy speaking to others who are also exploring new ways to do things. We identify and interview top legal visionaries and share what we’ve learned with thousands of legal professionals via email and post the interviews on our website.
Q2 2018: TAKING LEGAL OPERATIONS UP A LEVEL
- Stephanie Corey, Co-Founder of UpLevel Ops
Co-founded by Stephanie Corey and Jon Hoak a year and a half ago in response to a surge of interest in Legal Operations, UpLevel Ops provides Legal Operations support, strategic planning, and executive coaching. Corey says, “Legal departments [and law firms] are feeling more and more budget pressure, and they need to figure out how to make the best use of their teams, push work down the lowest levels, and implement technology.” UpLevel Ops can guide leadership through that process – or even act as an “extra set of hands” to set up plans for streamlining work. Read the full interview.
Q1 2018: A Legal Forum Focused on Technology
- Robert Childress, Founder of the Masters Conference
Robert Childress founded the Masters Conference in 2006 because he was looking for a way to connect and “create community” in the legal arena to develop his company, Wave Software. He discovered that there was a need to “bridge the gap between tech companies, law firms, and legal departments,” and the Masters Conference took off as an independent venture. Fast forward 11 years, and the Masters Conference holds technology and data-centric educational events for legal professionals in 15 cities around the United States and in three international cities. Read the full interview.
Q4 2017: DIVERSITY & INCLUSION IN THE LEGAL FIELD
- Joel Stern, CEO of NAMWOLF
As the CEO of the National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms (NAMWOLF), Joel Stern has been involved with NAMWOLF since 2003 when he first brought them into Accenture as Deputy General Counsel. He has seen significant change in the way that the legal services profession approaches diversity and inclusion in that time and believes diversity programs are necessary in the legal profession because we are dead last, in terms of other professions, with respect to the hiring and retaining of minorities and women. Read the full interview.
Q1 2017: How EU Privacy Impacts the U.S.
- Debbie Reynolds, Director of EimerStahl Discovery Solutions
Debbie Reynolds, renowned as a global thought-leader and advisor for handling electronic evidence in high-stakes litigation, spoke to us about privacy and e-discovery in the European Union (EU) and how that affects the U.S.According to Reynolds, personal data privacy protections are stricter in the EU for several reasons: In the U.S., there is no single federal personal data privacy law to protect people’s privacy (states may have different laws), and data privacy in the U.S. is often based on data type rather than on the individual person, as it is in the EU. Read the full interview.
Q4 2016: ROLES & RELATIONSHIPS
- Maria Green, General Counsel and SVP of Ingersoll Rand
As the former GC and SVP of Illinois Tool Works (ITW) and current GC and SVP of Ingersoll Rand, Maria Green has invested a lot in understanding the most effective way for a GC to fulfill the role of business partner and act as legal counsel. “They don’t call you a General Counsel for nothing,” Green says.“You’re truly a generalist. You must draw on the areas of expertise that you developed earlier in your career and expand beyond that. You don’t need to be an expert in everything, but you need to know enough about everything to give a high-level response to a CEO.” Read the full interview.
Q3 2016: RISK MANAGEMENT ON THE CUTTING EDGE
- Brian Levey, General Counsel and CFO of Upwork
Brian Levey is both the GC and CFO of Upwork, the world’s largest freelancing website. He believes that the legal and finance departments share many similarities and can add value to a company by acting as “periscopes” to anticipate risk and allocate resources. Financial Times named the Upwork legal team as one of the Top 25 Most Innovative In-House Legal Teams in North America. “I work with the best and the brightest; the team teaches me something every day,” Levey says. That kind of collaborative spirit sets Upwork’s team apart and allows them to navigate in a cutting-edge environment. Read the full interview.
Q2 2016: THE FUTURE AND THE CORE OF E-DISCOVERY
- Aaron Crews, Senior AGC and Head of e-Discovery at Walmart
As the head of e-Discovery at Walmart, Aaron Crews believes that the biggest challenge for someone moving from outside counsel to an in-house position is shifting his/her mindset from “being called and asked for answers” to “being a part of the narrative that leads up to asking the questions.” Walmart values “collaboration and consensus,” he says, which means that major initiatives require “building support and getting buy-in and backers.” That affects their strategy around e-discovery. In this profile, he also discusses cross-functional teams, technology challenges and the future of e-discovery. Read the full interview.
MARCH 2016: INNOVATION AT ITS CORE
- Ivan Fong, Senior Vice President, Legal Affairs and General Counsel at 3M
Innovation is at the core of 3M, and it’s no different for 3M’s legal department. Ivan Fong has led the department since October 2012. One of the things that most attracted him to 3M was “its culture of innovation combined with its commitment to collaboration.” He cites the company’s 15 percent culture—an informal program launched almost 60 years ago that allows employees to pursue their own projects and ideas during 15 percent of their time at work—as one example of innovation’s all-pervasive reach at 3M. In this profile, he shares three ways his department nurtures that culture of innovation. Read the full interview.
FEBRUARY 2016: RESILIENCY IN LEGAL DEPARTMENTS
- Bill Solomon, GC of Ally Financial
Necessity is the mother of invention,” says Bill Solomon when asked about the impact of the Great Recession on Ally Financial. Under pressure to reduce headcount and fees after the Recession hit, he and his department “made do.”Solomon, who has acted as General Counsel for Ally since 1999 and was practice area manager and an attorney for General Motors for eleven years before that, made tough decisions, pushed through challenges, and ended up with a strong and flexible team. In this profile, he shares his journey as well as thoughts on consolidations, cybersecurity and work/life balance. Read the full interview.
JANUARY 2016: TIPS FOR IN-HOUSE SUCCESS
- Cameron Findlay, SVP, GC & Secretary of Archer Daniels Midland
Cameron Findlay has been Senior Vice President, GC, and Secretary of Archer Daniels Midland Company since 2009. Prior to that, he was GC and Secretary of Medtronic, Inc. He has acted as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor, Deputy Assistant to the President (George H.W. Bush) and Counselor to the White House Chief of Staff, and as a partner at Sidley Austin LLP. His varied and impressive resume has given him special insight into the legal services industry what it means to be a GC. In this profile, he provides tips for in-house success. Read the full interview.