Productivity and Performance: Allison Levy Helps Ensure AdvoCare Plays By the Rules

An exciting aspect of being general counsel of AdvoCare International Inc. is that Allison Levy occasionally meets celebrity athletes like New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and NASCAR champion Richard Petty.
Meeting athletes who endorse AdvoCare is a nice reward for Levy, who shoulders a big load as the company’s sole lawyer. The Plano-based company develops and markets nutritional supplements for general health, weight management and sports performance, among other products.

Levy supervises three nonlawyer employees in her legal department, but as the company’s only lawyer, she manages a vast range of issues: ensuring the company’s products, marketing and direct-sales business model comply with regulations; overseeing distributors’ compliance with company policies; legal issues with sponsoring sporting events; and managing outside counsel representing AdvoCare in litigation.

“My day can consist of switching gears a dozen times,” she says.

PDF: Texas Lawyer_ Productivity and Performance Allison Levy Helps Ensure AdvoCare Plays By the Rules

Michele Mirto: Stepping up A2J while cutting cost

As executive director of Step Up to Justice, a Tucson, Arizona-based privately funded legal aid nonprofit, Michele Mirto wields a shoestring budget and just three staff members armed with legal technology. They lead an army of volunteer lawyers in resolving low-income clients’ civil matters—mostly family law but also guardianship, consumer law, bankruptcy, and wills and probate.

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PDF: michele_mirto_a2j_cutting_cost

Associate Departs Big Law to Create Pro Se Online Startup

Although she spent the first six years of her career in Big Law, California attorney Dorna Moini always knew that her true passion was in human rights and access to justice.

After graduating from the University of Southern California Gould School of Law in 2012, Moini, who has dual citizenship in the United States and Iran, worked at Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton and then at Sidley Austin.

But Big Law practice wasn’t her calling. Her experiences gained from frequent travel between the United States and Iran, plus a fellowship as an undergraduate helping draft legislation to outlaw slavery in northwest Africa, and her pro bono work as a Big Law associate provided a window into the stark divide in access to justice here and abroad. And she was driven to do something about it.

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PDF: Associate Departs Big Law to Create Pro Se Online Startup _ Law

Call Her the Constable of Cryptocurrency

Once upon a time there was a hero who took down the corrupt French Maid, who had manipulated and stolen from the Dread Pirate Roberts on The Silk Road.

It sounds like the plot line of a swashbuckler movie, but actually, it’s part of the tale of Kathryn Haun’s rise as a federal prosecutor who helped lay the groundwork for the government to capture cryptocurrency criminals.

Right now, the value of just one bitcoin is hovering around $5,000, leading to rampant media coverage, pushing digital currency lexicon into the mainstream. But wide adoption depends much on the safety and security of the new technology, which is often compared to the Wild West.

Haun, first as a federal prosecutor and now as a bespoke legal consultant for emerging technology companies, has contributed much to beefing up security in the industry. In the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California, she was the first digital currency coordinator. She handled cases that taught prosecutors to work through challenges in convicting cryptocurrency criminals, and sent loud-and-clear messages to digital currency companies to increase financial safeguards.

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PDF: Call Her the Constable of Cryptocurrency

 

Don’t Know What Blockchain Is? You Should. This Law Prof Can Help.

Bitcoin. Ethereum. Blockchain. It sounds like a foreign language, clouded in mystery.

But with billions of dollars flowing through cryptocurrency systems, and governments and major companies looking to blockchain technology to reform a wide variety of critical record-keeping systems, law students and lawyers need to get up to speed.

Even with great change brewing, only a smattering of law professors have published research in the area, and even fewer have launched formal classes for law students.

Angela Walch is one of the first law professors who have latched on to the importance of digital currencies and blockchain technology. Starting research in 2012, Walch, who is a professor at St. Mary’s University School of Law in San Antonio, has made a mark in the cryptocurrency community with research that suggested—despite the decentralized promise of blockchain technology—that actual identifiable people govern the systems, and furthermore, they should owe users a fiduciary duty. Walch’s law school course she started in 2013  was pioneering in teaching students about bitcoin and the blockchain.

This story published on law.com on August 7, 2017.

PDF: Don t Know What Blockchain Is You Should This Law Prof Can Help _ Texas Lawyer

GC Impact Player: Toyota Motor North America GC Sandra Phillips Rogers

As general counsel of one of the country’s largest automakers, Sandra Phillips Rogers oversees very busy legal happenings every day, yet she always sets aside time for her passion: making the legal profession more diverse.

At Toyota Motor North America Inc., Rogers has already built a diverse team of lawyers in her legal department. Her quest does not end there: She requires outside law firms to staff her matters with diverse lawyers, and to influence the wider legal profession, she spends a significant amount of time speaking at conferences about her efforts at Toyota.

“As lawyers, we have a responsibility to be good stewards of the profession, and I absolutely and fundamentally believe as a legal profession we have got to be diverse and inclusive for the same reasons it’s important to Toyota. I think to be the best lawyers we can be, to deliver the best legal advice we can, to be good representatives and stewards of the community, we have got to reflect the communities in which we work,” said Rogers, who also cofounded the University of Texas School of Law’s Center for Women in the Law and co-chaired the center’s 2017 Women’s Power Summit on Law and Leadership, an invitation-only event of very powerful female lawyers.

Published in Texas Lawyer magazine’s August 2017 issue.

PDF: GC Impact Player Toyota Motor North America GC Sandra Phillips Rogers _ Texas Lawyer

This Big Law Partner’s Hobby Is Sew Cool

She’s a Big Law litigator by profession, but in her personal time, Sidley Austin partner Paige Montgomery of Dallas pieces together a hobby that provides serenity for her and comfort for those in need.

Quilting has enabled Montgomery, 40, to slow her pace of life to a meditative crawl—and she has left behind piles of beautiful quilts in the process, while touching the lives of family, Big Law colleagues, and even strangers in need as far away as Costa Rica.

“In our work, we have investigations and cases and those things have intermediate deadlines, but they don’t have quite the same sense, ‘It’s done,’ that you get with a finished quilt,” Montgomery said. “I’m a better-rounded person than I was before I started doing it. It lets me express parts of my personality that otherwise wouldn’t come out.”

Published on Law.com on July 6, 2017.

PDF: This Big Law Partner’s Hobby Is Sew Cool _ Law