Daniel O’Connell, General Counsel & Chief Privacy Officer, Earth Networks, Inc.
Hometown: Silver Spring, MD
Non-legal job you’d love to have: Session Guitarist/Mix Engineer
Let’s be honest, it’s better to be in-house because: There’s only one client, and they pay on time.
The career advice you’d offer to a law school student: Treat it like a Liberal Arts education, not a trade school. Learn how to learn, and keep learning.
Cindy Boyle, General Counsel-Employment, Willis Towers Watson
Hometown: Morristown, New Jersey
Non-legal job you’d love to have: Film Critic
Let’s be honest, it’s better to be in-house because: There are so many reasons, but the two that resonate most with me are the diversity of work (no two days are ever the same) and the ability to focus on one client.
The career advice you’d offer to a law school student:Have an open mind about the career paths available to a lawyer, and avoid getting pigeon holed into one area in your first post-law school position.
Toke Vandervoort, VP & Deputy General Counsel, Under Armour
Hometown: New Orleans
Non-legal job you’d love to have: Astronaut. Firefighter. Cowgirl. Whatever it was I wanted to be when I was 4 when you knew you could be anything and you knew it would be the most fun ever!
Let’s be honest, it’s better to be in-house because: Oh, in my current role it’s all that Under Armour swag! But seriously, I’ve been in-house at 4 companies over 22+ years, and in all of them it’s been the opportunity to be embedded with the client and the business, to see and know the whole story, and become a strategic part of things start to finish.
The career advice you’d offer to a law school student:
- Be open to unexpected mentors in unexpected places.
- Never assume that years out of school or time in grade will get you what you want. Tend to your personal brand as passionately as you protect your client’s.
- Take a finance class.
- Have something outside of work that’s yours – real examples I know include a local dodgeball league, a passion for live music, the neighborhood book club, home brewing, yoga, your own improv comedy troop, competitive shark fishing, church groups, triathalons... whatever it is that you protect the time for because it recharges you.
J.D. Moss, Senior Counsel, Applied Predictive Technologies (APT)
Hometown: Great Falls, VA
Non-legal job you’d love to have: General Manager of an MLB team
Let’s be honest, it’s better to be in-house because: You’re not just a lawyer – you’re a problem solver, an advisor, an executive, a business partner and a team member all at the same time. Each day is a unique set of issues and challenges.
The career advice you’d offer to a law school student: Build relationships, be flexible and focus each day on being a better lawyer – the rest will fall into place. Find your own meaning of success and make sure you are always working towards that.
Steve Sherman, General Counsel – Americas, BSI Group (The British Standards Institution)
Hometown: Lancaster, PA
Non-legal job you’d love to have: Guitar Tech for James Hetfield of Metallica
Let’s be honest, it’s better to be in-house because: You NEVER have to hunt for work/new clients – it/they ALWAYS find you!
The career advice you’d offer to a law school student: Expand your horizons by escaping your comfort zone as often as you’re able, personally and professionally – it’ll open you to a world of people and opportunities you might not have imagined.