X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Marian Block is vice president and associate general counsel of the Lockheed Martin Corp., headquartered in Bethesda, Md. She talked to Legal Times briefly about her work for the defense industry as well as her incoming reign as president of the Washington Metropolitan Area Corporate Counsel Association. Can you first tell us a bit about the history of Lockheed Martin and its projects throughout the years? The company seems to be connected to many of the big names in aviation history: Amelia Earhart, the Wright brothers, Charles Lindbergh. Lockheed Martin is the product of the defense industry consolidation that took place in the mid-to-late ’90s. Lockheed Martin is made up of employees and business units that were once part of 17 other companies, including the Martin Marietta Corp., the Lockheed Corp., the Loral Corp., IBM, the Ford Co., Unisys, Honeywell, General Electric, RCA, General Dynamics, LTV, the OAO Corp., Goodyear Aerospace, Affiliated Computer Systems Inc., the Comsat Corp., and the Orincon Corp., among others. Portions of our company date back to the early days of flight. How many in-house lawyers are at Lockheed Martin? What’s the structure like, and where do you fall in the chain of command? Whom does the general counsel report to, and who is the general counsel? Are you all based in Maryland? Lockheed Martin has approximately 135 lawyers, the majority of whom are located throughout the United States at individual business sites. At corporate headquarters in Bethesda, there are about 15 lawyers. The lawyers in the field handle day-to-day operations of their specific businesses, such as government contracts, litigation, employment issues. The lawyers at corporate headquarters tend to be specialists in areas such as securities, export control, benefits, environmental work, and so on. All of the lawyers report directly or indirectly to Frank Menaker, who is the senior vice president and general counsel. Mr. Menaker, in turn, reports to Robert J. Stevens, the CEO and president. I report directly to Mr. Menaker. Five lawyers report to me. What are the biggest legal issues for Lockheed Martin? For you personally, what are also some of the biggest challenges in the job? The biggest legal issue for Lockheed Martin is responding to what seems to be constant change in the regulatory environment for public companies. For me personally, that means making sure that regulatory changes are communicated across the corporation in a coherent manner and implemented to the letter of the law. What outside law firms do you use on a regular basis, and for what areas? Lockheed Martin has relationships with many, many law firms. In my practice, in the last year, I’ve worked closely with King & Spalding; O’Melveny & Myers; McDermott Will & Emery; and Piper Rudnick. What’s it like to be a woman working in a very male world, the world of defense contractors? Are you seeing more women in the field? Actually, women have been significantly represented in Lockheed Martin’s legal department throughout my career here. The person I replaced when I took a job at Martin Marietta (Lockheed Martin’s predecessor in Bethesda) in 1990 was a woman. Currently, at corporate headquarters, we have three women in vice president positions within the legal department (two appointed vice presidents and one elected by the board). A fourth woman who was a vice president within the legal department was recently elected vice president for ethics. We haven’t reached 50 percent of the lawyer population at Lockheed Martin, but overall, my experience has been that women are better represented at the higher levels in-house than in law firms, banks, or investment banking firms. As the new president of the Washington Metropolitan Area Corporate Counsel Association, can you talk a bit about your goals for WMACCA and your specific goals for the year? What are some of WMACCA’s big concerns in 2005? This year should be a watershed year for WMACCA. It’s our 25th anniversary, and we passed the 1,000-member mark last year and hopefully will pass the New York City chapter this year in membership. That will make us the largest chapter in the country. Our membership is diverse and includes large in-house departments, solo-practitioner general counsel shops, trade associations, charitable organizations, and educational institutions. The challenge for us is twofold: to make sure we are addressing the needs of a diverse membership and to educate the public about the role corporate counsel play. As part of our 25th anniversary celebration, we want to publicize that role more fully. For instance, we’re the first line of defense in legal advice to our clients. We see the issues first and we are expected to respond with correct and practical advice. To give the public a better understanding of this role, we intend to host a 25th anniversary dinner where we will recognize some of the outstanding corporate counsel in our community. On the education front, we will have a full series of luncheons, early morning, and late afternoon programs that focus on issues of interest to corporate counsel and practical response. On the social front, we are planning gatherings for our membership in each of the jurisdictions we encompass — Northern Virginia, Montgomery County, and the District of Columbia. What’s the best part of the job? Assuming you mean my job at LMC, I was drawn to in-house practice originally because I liked having a lot of client contact. That remains the case. When you work in-house at a large company like Lockheed Martin, you frequently use an interdisciplinary approach to working problems. By this, I mean that most issues are worked by a team that may include representation from a variety of departments in addition to legal, such as accounting, treasury, human resources, corporate communications, tax, etc. Working through problems on a team with other employees at Lockheed Martin who bring other specialties and perspectives to a problem remains the part I like best. Assuming you also mean my position at WMACCA, I like meeting and sharing experiences with other in-house counsel. In particular, I think WMACCA’s educational programs, which focus on the practical approach required of in-house lawyers, are great. Where would we find you on a weekend? (In other words, what do you enjoy doing when you’re not at the office?) I like doing things outdoors, from gardening to golf to biking. What’s one of the best books you’ve read recently? I liked “The Secret Life of Bees” (by Sue Monk Kidd), “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay” (by Michael Chabon), “Blacklist” (by Sara Paretsky), and “Reversible Errors” (by Scott Turow).

This content has been archived. It is available exclusively through our partner LexisNexis®.

To view this content, please continue to Lexis Advance®.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber? Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis® services via Lexis Advance®. This includes content from the National Law Journal®, The American Lawyer®, Law Technology News®, The New York Law Journal® and Corporate Counsel®, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information.

ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis® will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

 
 

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.