In an age where in-house legal departments are having to move faster and more nimbly, the U.S. Bank Law Division has worked to build out innovation and technology capabilities to keep pace with the changing legal, regulatory and business environments.
Now, its work is being recognized by Corporate Counsel, a premier source for legal news and analysis, in the magazine’s annual “Best Legal Departments” issue. The honor is awarded by the publication’s editorial team to the legal departments of U.S. companies who have surmounted challenges in the past year with innovative thinking.
In 2018, the U.S. Bank Law Division launched both an Innovation Academy and a Center for Technology & Digital Initiatives to better equip its lawyers to help their business partners evaluate risk and drive solutions to protect the company and our customers. Both programs have helped to drive fundamental changes in how the team supports emerging priorities, like cybersecurity, intellectual property, privacy, data use, technology contracts, APIs and more. Going further, the bank has been hiring and developing attorneys to specialize in those areas.
U.S. Bank Law Division leaders Jim Chosy and Mary Baker (pictured above) spoke with Corporate Counsel about the efforts.
“While we have seen some change in the industry over time, it’s clear we’ve witnessed far more in just the past few years than in all of the several decades previous,” said Jim Chosy, executive vice president and general counsel. “We’re continuing to reimagine how we can stay in lockstep with the pace of change being driven by the realities of this technological transformation.”
Baker, senior vice president and director of legal operations, added that the efforts to foster innovation include partnering with outside experts. For example, she helped host a summit with bank executives, 40 outside law firms and a panel of experts on law firm innovation – an effort highlighted by Corporate Counsel in the issue.
“Our awards not only focus on having a successful year, overcoming obstacles and achieving great things… but [they] also recognize that you can’t do these things without an amazing team and outstanding leaders,” said Heather Nevitt, executive editor of the publication.
Other 2019 “Best Legal Departments” recipients include: AT&T, Guardian Life Insurance and eBay. The winners and finalists will be honored at The American Lawyer Industry Awards reception on Dec. 4 in New York City.
Written by Lee Henderson of U.S. Bank. Learn more about working at the company at usbank.com/careers.