Global guru

How to run a borderless legal department

Deborah Platt Majoras, chief legal officer and secretary of The Procter & Gamble Company (P&G)

Against a backdrop of increasing regulation and higher expectations for compliance and corporate responsibility, global organizations face a myriad of complex challenges, not the least of which is running a so-called borderless legal department that operates on all cylinders 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Deborah Platt Majoras, who chaired the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) from 2004 to 2008 under President George W. Bush, knows a thing or two about what it takes to deal with the legal intricacies facing global organizations. Currently the chief legal officer and secretary of The Procter & Gamble Company (P&G), Majoras has experience interfacing with a diverse workforce while juggling the needs of her different constituencies. In fact, she says, her experience as the head of the FTC helped prepare her for her current role in a number of ways.

P&G has also renewed its focus on development of the company's people, she says, by focusing primarily on three areas: experience, coaching and formal training.

“We started with our legal professionals, i.e., paralegals and administrative employees, because we realized that we could do more to develop these important contributors to their full potential. Included in our new development program are enhanced training through ‘Legal Professionals College’ and a new career track that more explicitly lays out opportunities for growth and promotion,” says Majoras. “For our other employees—lawyers and government relations professionals—we have system through which we co-create individual career plans that naturally evolve over time, based on the company's needs, their skills and interests, and the areas in which they want to grow.”

Editor in Chief

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Erin E. Harrison

Erin E. Harrison is the Editor in Chief of InsideCounsel magazine. Harrison’s professional background includes extensive expertise in both print and online media, highlighted by...

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