Connie Collingsworth is chief business operations officer with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Her remarks have been edited for length and style.

CCBJ: What led you to pursue a career in law?

Connie Collingsworth: I was somewhat strong-willed, always standing up for what was right, and I wanted to be an independent professional. Standing in line at my high school graduation, I remember telling a friend’s father that I planned to be a lawyer. It was 1976. He thought it was a funny thing for a young girl to say. It’s a very distinct memory. That’s when I knew my goal was to become a lawyer. Continue Reading

Gage Johnson is senior VP, general counsel and secretary of Paramount Group Inc., a New York City-based public REIT. His remarks have been edited for length and style.

CCBJ: How did you become a lawyer?

Gage Johnson: When I was a kid, there was a TV show called “Perry Mason,” a lawyer who helped people out of jams. Mason also always won and was fun to watch. My dad, a lawyer in Bowling Green, Kentucky, looked like Perry Mason. He became a judge, so it was natural for me to become a lawyer. Continue Reading

Recently, the topic of culture has rocketed up the corporate agenda. Look no further than our interview with Nick Donofrio and Helene Gayle, who recently led a Blue Ribbon Commission on culture for the National Association of Corporate Directors. Why take a hard look now at a “soft” topic such as culture? Check the headlines, says Donofrio, a member of the NACD board. Continue Reading

Interview with Christine Coats / Oracle Corporation

Christine Coats has made bringing new speed and efficiency to legal operations the focus of her career. After an early stint with IBM, she became Director of Legal Operations at Symantec in 2005, at a time when the function barely existed. At Symantec, she acted as the general counsel’s chief of staff and ran business operations for the COO’s office. In 2015 she was hired as Vice President of Legal Operations at an even larger software company – Oracle Corporation – where she acts as the general counsel’s right hand. She also serves as the CFO of the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC). The interview has been edited for style and length. Continue Reading

Metropolitan Corporate Counsel invites you to join us for How to Build a Diversity Initiative in Support of ABA Resolution 113, a complimentary webinar on Wednesday, August 23rd at 1:00 pm EST.


With so many departments using e-billing systems today, it is easy to track work performed in hours and dollars down to the timekeeper level, rather than simply looking at firm ownership alone. Diversity information can be reported and used to demonstrate contributions to the corporate goals, create targets for improvement, and to initiate meaningful conversations with firms about hiring and staffing practices. This session will offer a facilitated discussion on the potential pitfalls, and ethical, legal, and privacy issues associated with building a diversity initiative. Continue Reading

Metropolitan Corporate Counsel is excited to invite our readers to attend the new CLE in the City Series, supported by all of the major New York City law firms that came together to host the ABA Annual Meeting. This innovative collection of programs will be presented at leading firms and other special venues in midtown Manhattan on Thursday, August 10, and Friday, August 11. Continue Reading

Article by Alan R. Boynton, Jr. / McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC

The reality for almost every business is that not all of its employees are going to be happy in their jobs and that, at any given time, one or more is going to be seeking greener pastures. Many times those pastures are owned by competitors, and any business owner or CEO who fails to anticipate and plan for employee defections may also be inviting the loss of substantial business. Continue Reading

Article by Sasko Markovski & Amy C. Cococcia / Fragomen


Australia has been next in line across a number of jurisdictions around the globe to announce significant changes to employer-based immigration programs. This article provides an overview of some of the key changes announced as well as guidance on what actions businesses should be taking where impacted. Continue Reading


Interview with Janet Langford Carrig / ConocoPhillips & Kimberly Simpson / National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD)


 From October 1 to 4 at the National Harbor in Maryland, the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) will hold its Global Board Leaders’ Summit. The event brings together some 1,500 board members and corporate executives, including general counsel, to discuss the hottest governance issues facing boardrooms today. Janet Langford Carrig, GC of ConocoPhillips, and NACD regional director Kimberly Simpson discuss why the event presents a unique learning and networking opportunity for general counsel and corporate directors alike. Their remarks have been edited for length and style. Continue Reading

Interview with Frank A. Segall and Scott H. Moskol /Burns & Levinson 


Frank A. Segall and Scott H. Moskol co-chair the cannabis business advisory group at Burns & Levinson, where they have built an unusual practice helping individuals and companies involved in the marijuana industry navigate the complex and rapidly changing legal and business environment. MCC talked to them about the growth and opportunities in this new area of the law. The interview was edited for style and length. Continue Reading