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What was your route to the top? I started my career as a litigation associate at a big New York law firm, where I spent some time working on labor and employment matters; I found myself enjoying them a great deal—in part because the legal team was smaller than a typical commercial litigation team and I had more client interaction. I left my first firm and joined another large firm known for employment matters. After being there for a year, I joined Viacom Inc., a client of the firm’s, as a litigation counsel. When Viacom and CBS split into two separate companies, I transitioned to CBS Corporation, expanding my skillset by taking on new responsibilities in the compliance realm, and ultimately becoming the Corporation’s Chief Compliance Officer in 2009. After 6 years in that role, I was promoted to GC at Simon & Schuster, a CBS business unit. I was six months pregnant with my second child when I started in the position but I did not hesitate in making the transition. I welcomed the opportunity to partner more consistently with a defined set of business clients. I also wanted a better understanding of the business from the operational side, which I would not necessarily gain from a seat in corporate.

James Schroeder

 

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