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In Good Company: A Q&A with Beckles and Wachter

July 2016

With approximately five alumni for every lawyer at the firm, potential Kaye Scholer connections throughout the legal profession are numerous. These links to shared experiences and similar standards provide opportunities for all involved and get stronger with constancy and contact.

One of the many ways alumni strengthen these connections is by speaking on Kaye Scholer practice and professional development panels. This past spring, seven alumni returned to the firm to participate in two events geared toward our associates and resource groups.

Tricia Beckles, Pharmaceutical Counsel at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, Daniel Boglioli, Assistant Chief Counsel of IP at Charter Communications  Inc. (previously same position at  Time Warner Cable, which merged with Charter in May 2016), and Kazuko Wachter, Assistant General Counsel, Head of SAV Division at Moody’s Analytics, participated on the “Alumni In-House” panel at the 2016 Senior Associate Conference. Susanna Chu, Attorney in the Solicitor’s Office at the Office of the General Counsel for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Janis (Echenberg) Felderstein, AUSA with the Southern District of New York, Evelyn (Miller) Tollinche, National Geographic Partners, 20th Century Fox, Vice President Business & Legal Affairs, and Navin Pant, Trial Attorney at the US Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, all participated in a Kaye Scholer Women’s Advancement, Visibility & Empowerment Initiative (WAVE) event.

K-Source recently caught up with some of these alumni to talk about their reasons for transitioning their careers and maintaining professional contact with their Kaye Scholer colleagues.

Q&A

Tricia Beckles,  Pharmaceutical Counsel–Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation
Year left Kaye Scholer: 2015 |  Position(s) at Kaye Scholer: Associate, Complex Commercial Litigation

What were some of your considerations for going in-house?

Primarily it was the nature of the work. During my time at Kaye Scholer, I discovered that I enjoyed the counseling aspects of my practice more than the litigation aspects.

How did Kaye Scholer facilitate your transition to an in-house position?

Novartis contacted Kaye Scholer regarding the vacancy. Antitrust practice head Saul Morgenstern then discussed the role with John Geelan, head of the Employment & Labor practice, who recommended me for the position. In terms of my substantive experience, I had worked on a host of counseling-oriented projects, as well as litigations, that provided me with the skills to make myself marketable to Novartis.

I regularly meet with peers and former colleagues for “catch-up” sessions.

How important to your current position is it to maintain connections with outside counsel even when you are not actively working with them?

It is important to learn about recent changes in the law—as the law is constantly changing, it is helpful when outside counsel flags key changes in your practice area. Also, it is helpful to learn of any new and varied type of matters that outside counsel is working on, so that I know whether they may be appropriate for a particular project in the future.

What are your top habits for retaining productive professional relationships with former peers or outside counsel?

If I see a friend’s firm mentioned in a Law360 or other legal news article, I reach out to him/her regarding the article. I share interesting articles with peers—typically articles relevant to their practice area. I regularly meet with peers and former colleagues for “catch-up” sessions.

Why do you stay involved with the Kaye Scholer alumni network?

I still have friends at the firm, and alumni-related events like the firm cocktail parties and senior associate conference offer additional opportunities to maintain those relationships and make new ones.

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 Kazuko Wachter,  Assistant General Counsel, Head of SAV Division–Moody’s Analytics
Year left Kaye Scholer: 2012 | Position(s) at Kaye Scholer: Associate, Corporate

What were some of your considerations for going in-house?

Finding work-life balance and having more control of my working hours were my prime considerations.

How did Kaye Scholer facilitate your transition to an in-house position?

The mentoring relationships I had with certain partners definitely helped, and skill-wise, it definitely helped me in obtaining an in-house position to have come from a law firm like Kaye Scholer.

How important to your current position is it to maintain connections with outside counsel even when you are not actively working with them?

Because I never know when something will come across my desk for which I need to retain outside counsel, having a set of reliable lawyers I can count on for various areas of law is important.

There are a lot of great alumni I want to keep in touch with or meet.

What are your top habits for retaining productive professional relationships with former peers or outside counsel?

Staying in touch via email and catching up over lunch.

Why do you stay in involved with the Kaye Scholer alumni network?

Kaye Scholer is where I had my legal training prior to moving in-house, so I am grateful for that experience and like giving back. Also, there are a lot of great alumni I want to keep in touch with or meet.

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