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Young In-House Attorneys Honored: What You Can Learn

By Casey C. Sullivan, Esq. on June 01, 2015 10:53 AM

The Association for Corporate Counsel, a bar association for in-house attorneys, has honored its "Top 10 30-Somethings" at its May CLE training. These young in-house lawyers are good examples of the changing roles facing in-house counsel, as companies begin looking to their legal departments for more than just legal advice.

The awards honored young lawyers, between 30 and 39 years old, who are "proactively approaching challenges and striving for innovation," the ACC's president said. So, who won and what did they to earn the honor?

And The Award Goes to...

The ACC honored ten young in-house attorneys. Some were big names from big name companies. Google's discovery counsel, Alex Ponce de Leon, was honored, for example. But so were in-house attorneys at less flashy companies. Pontadon Produce saw its GC honored, though few would know that Idaho Falls, Idaho, company is behind some of their grocers mainstays, from Green Giant, to Klondike bars. Here's the full list of honorees:

Alan Bryan, Associate General Counsel, Walmart Stores, Inc. (Bentonville, Arkansas)

Alex Ponce de Leon, Corporate Counsel, Google Inc. (Mountain View, California)

Amy Yeung, Assistant General Counsel, ZeniMax Media (Bethesda, Maryland)

Archana Bhuta, Director of Patents, Juniper Networks, Inc. (Sunnyvale, California)

Erika Mouynes, General Counsel and CLO, Fintech Advisory (New York, New York)

James Benes, Director of Legal Affairs, Active Network (Dallas, Texas)

Jeremy G. Ladle, General Counsel, Potandon Produce LLC (Idaho Falls, Idaho)

Laura McLaren, Senior Counsel and Vice President, BMO Financial Group (Toronto, Canada)

Matt Vaughan, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Xero (Wellington, New Zealand)

Rachel Stoermer, Senior Corporate Counsel, Docusign, Inc. (Seattle, Washington)

Why'd They Win?

Innovation seemed to drive the selection of many of the honored attorneys. If you didn't notice, six of the ten in-house lawyers work for technology companies (who have a penchant for hiring young.) Ponce de Leon has focused on using innovative ediscovery methods to reduce the cost of litigation. Amy Yeung, Assistant GC for video game publisher ZeniMax, deals with protecting intellectual property and consumer data and has helped write a book on women in the legal profession.

Most importantly, however, these lawyers show the benefits of being involved in the legal community. Many have played important roles in their local bar associations, contributed to panels and publications and worked on organizations to mentor new lawyers and increase diversity in the workforce. After so much committed work, this was no one's first time being honored.

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