Emily Scott is Counsel at ACT, and Scott Turbeville is the Deputy General Counsel & Senior Director of Legal at CoorsTek.
What does a typical day look like for you at ACT?
Emily: On any given day, I am working on a variety of projects related to data privacy, intellectual property, and ongoing litigation. I regularly work with many colleagues throughout my organization (and outside counsel) on both strategic initiatives and ad hoc questions that arise in connection with routine business operations. I don’t often get to do a deep dive into any topic, but instead have to maintain a more shallow understanding on a large array of topics – which makes outside counsel support critical to my success. I really love my work, find it rewarding and challenging, and supporting for a mission-based non-profit organization.
Scott: I lead a team that supports all legal aspects of our business in North America, and some aspects beyond if it implicates North American law. CoorsTek’s customers and counterparts include many of the world’s largest companies as well as the smallest of small businesses, in a very wide variety of industries, so I am exposed daily to a broad range of legal issues. While it varies from day to day, I am generally working on “traditional” legal matters such as contracting, regulatory inquiries, HR issues, and sometimes M&A transactions as well as other business matters such as financings, R&D agreements, customer questions, and issues for marketing and sales. I work with nearly all parts of the business as well as with my legal counterparts here in the U.S. and in Europe and Asia. The wide scope is challenging, but it really makes every day different and interesting. I really love the company, my job and all the challenges that go with it.
How has the WFH environment impacted your business?
Emily: While we did shift to a WFH model as an organization, WFH itself has not had a great impact on our business. However, the pandemic did have a tremendous impact, as the prevalence of test – optional and test – blind policies in college admissions increased dramatically over the past two years, and many of these policies are here to stay. It has been challenging for our organization to adapt and evolve our strategy amid these changes so that we can continue to support students on their path to college and career.
Scott: Like everyone else, we did shift to a WFH model during the height of the pandemic. However, we are a manufacturing company, and so it was important for everyone – including office employees – to return to the office when it was safe and appropriate. As a company, we are largely back to “normal” now. One challenge in this current WFH environment is finding candidates for internal legal openings who are willing to come to the office most days. As for me, I returned to the office relatively soon in the pandemic. I find that office facetime helps the legal department stay proactive – it reminds our internal customers that we’re here and available to get involved early in a process, as opposed to only reactively reviewing the finished product or proposal.
What is your favorite memory of working at DGS?
Emily: Working on the Christian, et al. v. Atlantic Richfield Co. matter was an incredible experience for me. The team handling that matter was outstanding and it was very rewarding to be a part of it. The trips to Butte, Montana were also very memorable!
Scott: I have a lot of great memories of DGS. One memory that stands out is working on PDC Energy’s 2016 $1.76 billion acquisitions of assets in the Delaware Basin in Texas, along with related financings. At the time, I had just arrived at DGS after moving from New York, and it seemed like every corporate attorney in the firm was working on this transaction. Just seeing the entire corporate team come together and collaborate on this massive transaction confirmed for me that I had chosen the right firm to continue my career.
Who are some of the people at DGS that had the greatest influence on you and why?
Emily: I worked with many terrific attorneys at DGS. In particular, Shannon Stevenson, Jon Rauchway, and Mark Champoux taught me everything I know about litigation and persuasive writing. I continue to be in their debt for their terrific mentoring and training.
Scott: I have worked with so many great attorneys at DGS – Brian Boonstra, Jeff Brandel, John Elofson, Zach Detra, and Mark Bussey, to name a few. All of them taught me a great deal. Mark Bussey probably had the biggest impact on me and my career. He’s a great attorney and great person. He gave me the freedom to draft and negotiate complex agreements, but he was always patient and willing to talk through concepts or language. Oftentimes, deals get hectic towards closing, but I remember Mark always being so prepared, calm, and unflappable. For me, even now in my in-house role, he continues to be a great example of how to practice this profession.