About Kirsten Marcum

Kirsten Marcum Articles written 27

Articles written by Kirsten Marcum

The Decider

Sandra Leung stepped in when Bristol-Myers Squibb took the heat

Sandra Leung was promoted to interim general counsel of Bristol-Myers Squibb during a late-night phone call in September 2006. It was two months after the FBI had raided the pharmaceutical company’s Manhattan offices while investigating a collusion involving its top-selling drug, Plavix. At the urging of the company’s government-appointed monitor—implemented the previous year, after a $2 billion accounting scandal—its CEO and general counsel had just stepped down. Bristol-Myers was …

Palin in Comparison

Lisa Palin stood up for an attempted rape victim and helped set an important precedent in the process

Lisa Palin is barely five years into her career, but she has already set foot on some rarely traveled legal paths. While working a pro bono case, she became one of the first attorneys in Massachusetts to oppose a motion to view an attempted rape victim’s privileged psychiatric records under the revised protocol established in Commonwealth v. Dwyer. In a case brought by the district attorney against the alleged perpetrator, the defendant’s lawyer made a motion for access to the victim’s …

Corps Values

Amy Manzelli brings a love of the environment and her Peace Corps can-do attitude to the law

Amy Manzelli can’t remember a time when she didn’t feel closely connected to the outdoors—and environmental issues. As a child growing up on Massachusetts’ South Shore, she spent hours roaming the nearby woods and cranberry bogs. Her father, a teacher during the school year, was a fisherman and lobsterman in the summer, and Manzelli spent many days with him out on the boat. But when her younger sister was diagnosed with skin cancer and Manzelli wondered if it had been caused by the …

Wright Makes Might

Valerie Wright lends her strength to those in need

Valerie Wright still remembers what the woman in the Yale career center told her when she heard that the biology major wanted to find a nonprofit job in public health: “She said: ‘Good luck. That’s like pulling teeth from a hen,’” recalls Wright. “Then she pointed me to a couple of binders in the corner.” In the binders, Wright—then a volunteer with the AIDS Project New Haven—found an ad for a health advocacy fellow position at the Medicare Beneficiaries Defense Fund (now …

In the Express Lane

How Louise Parent moved up the AmEx corporate ladder

Thirty-two years ago in New York, Louise Parent watched the moon rise over the Empire State Building from her office in Midtown. She was in her early 20s, just out of law school. It was Saturday night and it was her birthday. The last place she wanted to be was at her desk. After triumphant turns at both Smith College and Georgetown Law, she now found herself in an unfamiliar environment. There were only a few female attorneys at the firm. Some partners even thought she had unfairly taken a …

Hanging Their Own Shingles

For some lawyers, big-firm life represents a kind of security. For others, what's more important is independence, autonomy and flexibility. We spoke with three young attorneys practicing at small or solo firms to see what life is like on their own.

Say Ni Hao to Jeffrey Hester Jeffrey Hester never expected to end up practicing bankruptcy law in Indianapolis. A proficient (if now a bit rusty) Mandarin Chinese speaker, Hester studied the language at a young age and majored in Chinese in college. Though he started his legal studies in Indianapolis, he attended the University of Hawai‘i School of Law, which had a strong Chinese law program, as a visiting student before entering a program to obtain an LL.M. from the University of Hong Kong …

She Brings Good Things to Light

GE associate general counsel Janine Dascenzo operates at a higher frequency       

Janine Dascenzo specializes in "bet the company" cases. Considering that General Electric is ranked one of the world's largest companies—one where a surprise earnings announcement can send global stock markets spinning—those can be big bets. As GE's associate general counsel, Dascenzo divides her time between hands-on legal work and broader corporate projects, like cross-business legal initiatives and managing relationships with outside law firms. She also jumps between the company's global …

Smaller Can Be Better

For some lawyers, big firm life offers security. But for others, that's less important than independence and flexibility.       

Practicing a Happy Type of Law J. Anthony Bradley, Bradley Law Firm Early in J. Anthony Bradley's career, an experienced lawyer at his firm told him: "If you don't have your own clients, you're not a real lawyer." Bradley—who received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in accounting from the University of Mississippi, then attended law school at Ole Miss and got his LL.M. in tax law at the University of Florida—took the message to heart. He struck out on his own in 2003, just five years …

Hanging Their Own Shingles

Not every lawyer gets to stroll into the office at 10 or spend a few hours fishing for striped bass every morning. Then again, not every lawyer takes out his own trash, worries about the firm's cash flow, or plans her next wave of online marketing. We spoke to five young New England lawyers at small firms to see what life is like when you are your own accountant, bookkeeper, secretary, reference librarian, IT consultant and janitor.        

Judge, Advocate, Solo Practitioner José Rojas: The Rojas Law Firm José Rojas was on track to make partner at Hartford-based Shipman & Goodwin when the fourth-year associate decided to work for himself. "I did it with very little planning," Rojas says. "I had no savings. I went on vacation and made the decision and came back and told my boss. "Of course, I don't recommend that approach." Rojas already had a unique start to his legal career. After graduating from Quinnipiac University …

Behind the Stacks at Barnes & Noble

Jennifer Daniels is more than just book smart  

The Barnes & Noble corporate offices are located on Fifth Avenue, near Manhattan's Union Square. Ten flights up, in an office full of sunlight and blond wood, sits Jennifer Daniels, one year into her position as Barnes & Noble's first-ever in-house general counsel. She came to the book-publishing giant from IBM, which has 500 attorneys covering 170 countries. She now heads a team of five, including herself. After nearly 17 years in the global technology business, why move? Opportunity, …

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