Professional Development & Mentorship
Small legal departments are often poorly equipped to provide career development for in-house lawyers and other legal professionals. Developing the next generation of in-house legal professionals has been among the most rewarding aspects of Ephraim’s career, not only because it positively impacts the company’s legal professionals, but also because it pays dividends for the company as its legal services become more efficient and effective.
“Development of other professionals is an area that I am very passionate about. Throughout my career, it has been among the best and most rewarding of my responsibilities to lead teams of as many as 65 people, including attorneys, IP professionals, contract managers, and other non-lawyer professionals.
For context, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) and Succession Planning are at a high premium in corporations. Because of this, I’ve had the obligation and the privilege of recruiting many talented individuals and managing succession planning for my own position. This means I’ve had the opportunity to work with a diverse set of smart, capable, very hardworking individuals and to help them identify their career objectives and what gaps they had, and what training, experiences, and coaching they needed to close the gaps and reach their objectives. It was an amazingly fun and rewarding part of my general counsel roles. It was also good for my companies because it made the next group of attorneys and legal professionals better, more efficient, and more value-added.
When I think about medium and small businesses that have small legal functions, I wonder who’s doing the mentorship and how well-suited they are to developing legal professionals. For example, if the company has a relatively junior general counsel, the CEO or general managers might be providing some mentorship, but they won’t necessarily be doing it in an on-point way that’s going to improve the general counsel’s legal capabilities and ability to provide stewardship for the company. Today, I’m in a great position to work with companies to provide mentorship and career development for their legal professionals. I have no idea if there is a market for this, but there should be, because the up-and-coming generation of in-house legal professionals deserves it.”