After 16+ years of practice, you meet many bright practicing attorneys who are dissatisfied with their legal careers — even the ones who have reached the pinnacle of the profession. They’re partners at law firms or senior in-house lawyers. Well compensated but not passionate about what they’re doing.
Ok, I’ll be honest. I heard some career dissatisfaction shortly after folks learned what it meant to actually practice law, and the shine of a new law degree and passing the bar exam faded.
I have good news for you. You can pivot, and your legal background adds tremendous value to alternative careers. In this interview, we’re sharing the story of Staci VanderPol, Corporate Counsel and Sales Enablement at Lexion, who leverages her legal background for her current, non-traditional legal role.
What do you do at Lexion?
As Corporate Counsel and Legal Solutions Specialist, my main objective is to help the Lexion team better understand in-house legal teams’ needs. I work closely with sales to provide practical use-case examples, collaborate with marketing to create useful collateral that will resonate with our customers, and work with our product team to train AI models and provide product design feedback.
I also work with our potential customers — talking through their current processes and discussing how Lexion can streamline what they’re doing today with little change to overall operations. And then I still do some actual legal work here and there. That’s the fun part of working at a start-up — it’s all hands on deck.
What brought you to Lexion?
Our Chief Legal Officer, Jessica Nguyen, and I connected on LinkedIn, and I saw her post that she was hiring for this “Legal Architect” position, a non-traditional legal role that still required legal credentials. I’ve always wanted to do more with my law degree — use my experience and education, and collaborate across the company beyond the traditional in-house counsel role.
My title changed from the original post, but the idea is still the same: I’m helping plan, design, and oversee how the company grows and sells from a legal perspective. After interviewing, it was really apparent how passionate the team is about the product and the company’s growth, and that was something I wanted to be a part of. A bonus is the company culture, which promotes a healthy work/life balance, and as a mom of four, is something I really appreciate.
How do your law degree and background help with your position?
My background is in-house counsel. I am Lexion’s customer. I’ve used CLMs that were more work to manage than the benefit of having them. I’ve tried implementing a new CLM and experienced a lack of buy-in from the company because no one wants to learn new software.
When I hear potential customers are using excel spreadsheets to track renewal dates and assignability clauses, I get it. I’ve done that. As a user of Lexion, I appreciate the value Lexion brings to in-house legal teams and can show our customers how they can use Lexion to organize their workflows and efficiently search and track existing contracts. Lexion balances innovative tech with ease of use, which is important to a non-tech-savvy attorney like me. I get to personally test and use every new feature before we roll it out to ensure it’s easy to use and adds value to legal. It’s really exciting to be able to help create something that I know my legal peers need.
Want more insights into a career in legal? Check out our previous installments in the GC Spotlight series with Jason Knapp, Chief Legal Officer of InMarket, and Brie Buchanan, General Counsel of Relay Payments.