Uncovered: HP's In-house Counsel Training Program Part 4

Part IV. Follow along in this four-part blog series featuring a timely and provocative look inside Hewlett-Packard Company's innovative new legal talent development program. This blog takes a look at the training program from the perspective of a participant, HP new hire, Gail Su. Gail is a graduate of Harvard Law School and is currently Counsel on the Intellectual Property Transactions Team. Prior to joining HP, Gail attended Harvard Law where she served as the President of the Harvard Asia Law Society, as Conference Chair for both the Asia and Pacific American Law Students Association and the Journal of Law & Technology. The voice, views and stories expressed by the authors below are their own and not ACC's. To read the first installment of this series, click here. Part IV: Who Says Attorneys Can't Be Trained In-house? When I first started at HP, I was excited but nervous. I wasn't sure what to expect, but much to my relief, HP had it all sorted out. My training has come primarily from two sources: a set curriculum that all new attorneys are asked to complete and my on-the-job experiences. The set curriculum is composed of classes (that I attend both online and in person) and practical experiences. The training was designed to give me broad exposure to the workings of a large company and to help me develop certain skills. It has given me the opportunity to attend classes on core legal topics such as antitrust and contract law; I have had the chance to present a legal recommendation to a company executive; and later this year, I will spend a week at a legal outsourcing site negotiating sales agreements. In addition, I've attended a customer meeting with an HP executive as well as a negotiation workshop, and participated in a business simulation where I helped a fictitious company evaluate business options. In my day-to-day training, I am fortunate to be under the instruction of managers who are committed to my development as an attorney. I am also fortunate that the entire IP Transactions team has joined together to mentor me. I have been exposed to a wide range of matters and have learned from lawyers with different styles of practice. Sometimes I work on projects by myself. Other times, I work on projects with other attorneys. In all cases, I am encouraged to take on as much responsibility as I believe I am ready for. There are no rules as to what I am capable of, and there are no rules as to which projects are too complicated for me. Additionally, my manager encourages me to take ownership of my career, including choosing experiences that will benefit me professionally. One of my professional aspirations is to work on cross-border transactions, especially in Asia. Upon hearing that I would be interested in spending time in HP's Shanghai office, my manager's words to me were, "Let's try to make that happen." I am pleased that it worked out and I will leave for Shanghai in October. Finally, I am encouraged to participate in pro bono activities. In fact, each HP attorney is asked to complete 20 hours of pro bono service a year. In the short time that I have been at HP, I have worked on a VAWA immigration self-petition, advised non-English speaking clients at a legal clinic for small businesses, and instructed middle school students on the law. Ten months ago, I couldn't have imagined that my career would be off to such a fast-paced and exciting start. Thank you, HP, and I look forward to experiencing all that you have to offer.

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