Life in global legal services

by Adobe Life Team

Posted on 01-18-2018

When we have a program named Global Legal Services (GLS), we mean it. With legal specialists and associates across the globe, the GLS team is a growing team within the Adobe Legal team that’s making big strides with their innovative legal rotational program. Learn all about the team and hear from employees from Utah, Romania and California.

Ellis Dobkin

Associate Legal Counsel, Lehi, Utah

  1. What drew you to the in-house legal team at Adobe instead of a law firm?

For any law student, it’s the law firm track that’s traditional. But what ultimately drew me to Adobe was my interest in in-house practice and my intellectual curiosity. I knew I wanted to join an in-house team that was part of the evolving tech industry and I wanted to find a company that offered sufficient opportunities to learn.

I had expected this opportunity to be like that in most big firms and larger in-house legal departments — doing work for a siloed team. When I learned a little more about GLS during the interview process I found out it was a structured team that supported most, if not all, of the other groups within Adobe’s legal department. I wanted to explore the different roles of in-house counsel but couldn’t even dream of a chance to do that to this extent.

  1. I understand you started out as an intern first, then joined Adobe as a graduate hire. What made the opportunity at Adobe different than others that made you want to return?

Besides allowing me an extended seven-month internship rather than just the Summer, I was surprised by how much I got to do during the internship. I worked with many different teams—within legal and other parts of the company. The extended internship gave me time to get up to speed and add value while the breadth of work gave me an opportunity to expand my skill set.

And that’s what makes GLS so unique—it’s structured like a rotational leadership program. You usually only find programs like this in finance institutions. So it’s a really innovative thing to do in the legal field. From what I understand it hasn’t been done before in this capacity.

  1. You mentioned earlier that you wanted to find a company that had learning opportunities. How has Adobe enabled you to grow and develop your skills?

Formal training, but mostly experience. The GLS team has a set of training modules that’s very extensive. It covers many areas of law that we touch on a daily basis, and it was newly developed together with various teams around the department. But most of all, I have been able to grow and develop my skills through a diverse workset that requires creative legal analysis and working alongside lawyers and legal professionals from different legal groups.

I’m learning how to be an efficient in-house attorney because I have to wear multiple hats. In a single day, I’ll go from securities work, to advising engineers on licensing issues, to negotiating contracts with customers. The work is exciting!

Anca Mandragiu

Associate Legal Specialist, Bucharest, Romania

  1. What drew you to Adobe and what are you currently working on?

I was actually previously working at an oil and gas company. But I wanted to make a big change and transition to the IT industry. And Adobe attracted my attention because I knew they were ranked as a Best Employer in Romania.

When I joined the company and really saw how the Global Legal Services team was structured, I knew I made the right decision to join. I work on all types of deals—sales orders, procurement deals, offering legal support, analyzing claims. I’m never bored at work because something new always comes up.

  1. How does your job differ than your U.S counterparts when it comes to legal practices in Bucharest?

The one big difference is that because of the laws in North America, you’re only handing deals in North America. But the work here in Europe, you’re covering European deals and sometimes deals in the Asia-Pacific region. Because of that, I get to work with people from all over the world. I get to improve my legal knowledge and also learn about how people from other parts of the world think.

I also joined the team because they were looking for someone with Spanish speaking skills. I get to use some today in my current position, but my goal for 2018 is to take a Spanish legal course to improve my knowledge, and the team is supportive of that. What makes Adobe a unique environment is that you get to develop professionally and personally.

Shaudee Dehghan

Incoming Associate Legal Counsel, San Jose, California

  1. Was the tech industry always a path you wanted to explore?

Not initially. When I first started law school I was open to a lot of things. I was introduced to privacy law during an internship at TrustArc the fall of my 2L year, and that was it. After that, I knew I wanted to go into tech and do privacy. In tech, privacy touches so many different aspects of the business, I immediately loved how multi-faceted it is. After that, I was never interested in a firm, I knew I wanted to go in-house. I heard about Adobe’s in-house Global Legal Services program and once I started doing my research, I fell in love with the company. And then when I started, I realized how unique GLS was in the legal field, the opportunity to go directly in-house and into this amazing training program. For somebody like myself, Adobe was the holy grail.

  1. So, how did your internship compare to your expectations?

My internship went above and beyond any expectations I had. All the extremely busy people who took the time to meet with me, answer my questions, review my work and provide me with feedback truly made me feel part of the team and provided me with a lot of experience and insight. I was also exposed to a diversity of transactional corporate work, and was able to meet with many different teams, and gain exposure to what they do. The experience was completely invaluable. GLS is special.

As a law student, you’re told one thing and one thing only—you finish school, you pass the bar, and you go work at a firm. Then after you have a couple years under your belt you can make the move to in-house, but Adobe GLS blows that idea out of the water! The program allows you to go in-house straight from law school while also providing you with the exposure, skills and training to make you a well-rounded corporate attorney. Adobe is not traditional. I’ve heard of other tech companies having legal intern programs, but none of them sound like GLS. Adobe has opened a door for many law students who want something different and not traditional. It’s an industry game changer.

  1. Any advice for incoming interns looking to join and will be joining GLS?

For those looking to join GLS, do it! You will be exposed to so many different types of legal in-house work, your skillset and experience will increase ten-fold. For those joining this summer, get out there—introduce yourself, speak up, ask questions, don’t feel like you’re bothering anyone, and make friends. The legal team is a family, so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there! Ask for what you want—I asked for privacy work and I got privacy work. Adobe’s legal department is extremely collaborative and encouraging. Everyone wants to help you succeed.

Learn more about the Global Legal Services team by checking out their Spark page, and look for opportunities on our career site.

Topics: Adobe Life, Employee Impact, Adobe Culture, Brand