Shari Piré, chief legal and sustainability officer at Palo Alto, California-based Plume Design, said that because legal departments are the conduits through which all agreements and processes flow, they can exert a positive influence companywide.

“The legal team is well-positioned to create camaraderie both in the legal team and across the company more broadly,” said Piré, whose company provides Wi-Fi and internet-connected smart home services.

But GCs agree that camaraderie and mentorship that might have occurred by happenstance before the pandemic emptied out workplaces now requires intentionality.

Timothy Brown, executive vice president and chief legal officer of West Chester, Pennsylvania-based Venerable, which owns legacy variable annuities cast off by insurance companies, said he makes a point of holding team meetings on in-office days to promote collaboration and the sharing of ideas.

“This keeps everyone aligned on the progress toward department priorities and also helps our newer team members quickly integrate into the group,” he said.

‘Informal Conversations to Develop Were Not Happening’

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