Meet Me! Attorney Q&A with Michelle O’Connor
What do you do for your clients?
After a long absence from the practice of law, I began working as an outside general counsel for a client in the financial tech industry and then at Nimbus Legal. I work for just a few clients and that allows me to get to know the industry, the specific work and the people in each organization very well. I’m motivated by working with others and helping them achieve their goals. I often work closely with Beth Lebowitz on some of her larger clients.
Why did you decide to become an attorney?
When I began practicing law, I chose what I considered to be the most stimulating practice at the time – public offerings. It involved long hours, fast paced work and late nights, and I found it to be exhilarating. I’m extremely organized and methodical, and enjoyed putting all the pieces of a complex deal together. I no longer work on public offerings, or would even want to, but still find satisfaction in working cooperatively to ensure that the final product works well for all the parties involved.
What gets you up in the morning? How do you typically start your day?
My Golden Retrievers (a 2 year-old and a 9 week-old) get me up in the morning, often earlier than I’m ready, but I wouldn’t trade that time with them for anything. The diversity of my day is what motivates and excites me. Since I only work part time, I have time to volunteer at a small food pantry, hike beautiful Arizona trails, and travel with my family, while continuing to do stimulating work with terrific clients.
Why did you decide to become an Auxana GC?
Being an Auxana GC is the perfect job for this time in my career. While I started out in a large law firm, I left the practice when we learned that our first son was profoundly deaf, and then shortly after that, I had triplets prematurely. I didn’t go back to practicing law after our children were born, but instead chose to stay home to teach our son to talk and raise our family. After our children were grown, I wanted to return to work, but didn’t want to go back to a law firm. Becoming an Auxana GC was the perfect solution. The work is interesting, the clients are appreciative, and I can adjust my schedule to work as much as I want, and work from anywhere. It also gives me the flexibility to continue to do the other things that have become important to me over the years.
What is your stance on the innovation of the legal industry?
It’s no secret that the legal profession needs to be more flexible, cost-effective, and utilize technology better. Auxana is certainly the right platform at the right time for both attorneys and their clients. The ability to have access to sophisticated outsourced general counsel allows companies to be more proactive with their legal issues and allows them to work more closely and collaboratively with their attorneys, without either of them being tied to the billable hour.
What would you do if you weren’t an attorney?
I would train my new puppy to be a therapy dog and volunteer at hospitals and senior living facilities where we could bring joy and unconditional love to those who need it most.