Axiom Lawyer Weathers Any Storm: Supporting Her Island Community
By Axiom Law
Axiom lawyer Emily shares her unique experience as a corporate “generalist” who developed software licensing experience while starting a “learn and earn” nonprofit that benefits her community.
While vacationing in Puerto Rico ten years ago, Emily and her husband fell in love with the island’s vibrant community and beautiful landscapes. That love led them to make a big decision: leave the States and move to their beloved island. But that meant she would need to work remotely.
As was the case for most in-house counsel in 2016, remote work was not permitted for Emily while she worked at a private, international entertainment company. What she needed was an employer that was flexible with her location needs.
While Emily was the chair of the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) Sports and Entertainment Committee, a member recommended she send her resume to the flexible legal talent provider that was making waves in the legal industry. So she did.
What Emily never expected to find was a lifelong working relationship that fulfilled her career needs and supported her ability to make an impact on her new community.
From “generalist” to experienced legal professional
After twenty years with a small legal department, Emily found herself a jack-of-all-general-trades, drafting and negotiating contracts that covered an array of practice areas: intellectual property, marketing and advertising, consumer products and services, employment law, and real estate.
But she couldn’t see herself growing in that position. She wanted something that would give her experience in a particular practice area, making her an even stronger asset to the team.
Since she started at Axiom, Emily considers herself fortunate to be a part of consistently interesting and challenging engagements. “My Axiom career began at a national sports league, which was a natural fit for me after a career in sports and entertainment law,” Emily explains. When that first project was completed, Emily expanded her experience and skillset with a variety of companies and industries: she worked with an international confectionery company an then moved the financial services industry and later the biotech industry followed by the airline industry. With each new engagement, Emily was learning more about her interests and passions.
Like all Axiom lawyers, each of Emily’s engagements is a unique experience helping her clients with unique needs, which Emily addresses in new ways based on lessons she has learned from previous engagements. Each experience has further developed Emily’s skillset, making her an even bigger asset to the company she works with.
This has led her to the work relationship of a lifetime.
“It was at this last engagement that I gained years of experience in software licensing and other technology-related contracts, which opened the door, to my next—and current—engagement with a global consumer products company.” What should have been a three-month engagement turned into a multi-year opportunity due to Emily's ability to apply that specific skillset. “I am now in my third year with this client and loving it!”
Branching out to find the right team
In her current role, Emily has helped her client develop contract templates and provide direct feedback, making improvements to a contract management system while working closely with business teams that use it.
What she loves even more about being an Axiom attorney is the hybrid nature of the role. The duality of this position allows Emily to feel as if she’s part of the in-house legal team—the only difference is the location of her office.
For Emily, the ability to work on complex transactions with Fortune 100 clients covering diverse practice areas, collaborating closely with business team members while working remotely, is ideal. She never imagined she could have her cake and eat it too.
But that’s the beauty of the Axiom experience.
When asked about her long-term goals, Emily says that for as long as a client continues to need her services, she plans to continue to provide them as an Axiom attorney. And it is through Axiom and the teams she’s been a part of that she has cultivated her true passion: community.
Supporting the community
Emily values community just as much as she does teamwork. After falling in love with the island of Puerto Rico, Emily wanted to contribute to the community where she and her husband now belong by investing in its people, property, and infrastructure in an impactful, long-lasting way.
When Hurricane Maria hit in 2017, Emily saw firsthand the devastation such a storm could inflict on her beloved community. She couldn’t stop wondering how she could help make their island homes as resilient as the people themselves, capable of weathering any storm. When Emily met architects Francisco Gutierrez and Jonathan Marvel, she knew she needed to help make their “learn and earn” nonprofit idea a reality—this could be her way of supporting the community.
Thus, Emily's 501(c)(3) and Puerto Rico 1101.01 nonprofit, PRoTechos, was born.
Through ProTechos, trainees learn how to rebuild roofs for Puerto Rico’s most vulnerable people—the elderly, the infirm, and families with young children—so their homes will be resilient when faced with the next hurricane. Emily shares that “to date, PRoTechos has built over 130 roofs and provided carpentry training to over 200 people. More than 60 of those trainees have graduated from the program so far.”
Unlike her previous employer, Axiom provides Emily the ability to work from wherever she’s admitted to practice and to work the number of hours that best fit her life. Because of Axiom’s flexibility, Emily has found the freedom to commit to her community in a big way as president and chief legal officer of a growing and thriving nonprofit.
Emily and ProTechos have dug deep roots into the island, collaborating with community leaders and taking care of residents with the most need. Emily is proud that by giving back to her community and developing lasting relationships with her fellow founders, those roots will weather any storm the island—and Emily—may face in the future. After all, she has the support of an incredible work-life balance in her back pocket.
Encouraging others to take the leap
To any lawyer wary about leaving their legal work for Axiom, Emily says, “Get off the fence!” Emily loves that Axiom gives her the flexibility to create a healthy work-life balance, and she knows that others will find that with Axiom too.
While she doesn’t believe she’s always the best example of juggling between her Axiom and non-profit work commitments—she likes to keep herself busy with her two biggest passions— Emily is grateful that she can adjust her schedule when needed. Axiom offers many opportunities that fit within a reduced hourly schedule, which she knows is practically impossible with a typical in-house counsel or law firm position.
For Emily, Axiom has provided more than an employer open to remote work; Axiom has supported her development of strong relationships—with clients and her community.
To work with over 14,000+ highly experienced lawyers like Emily doing exciting work at innovative companies while exploring their passions, apply to join our network.
Data Privacy Lawyer Expands Her Skill Set Through Prestigious Axiom Clients
Read how one attorney transitioned her legal career from litigation with an Am Law 50 firm to data privacy with Axiom.
Exploring ESG through the Lens of Risk Management: Why and How GCs Should Prioritize ESG in 2023
Navigating ESG poses challenges for GCs and legal leaders but also offers them the opportunity to shape and inform how their organizations respond to ESG requirements.
3 Steps to Becoming a More Influential In-House General Counsel
How to build strategic influence within your business and elevate your in-house legal team from a cost center to a competitive advantage.