I had a chance the other day to spend time talking with Pam Woldow of Altman Weil. Wow, was I impressed. Pam helps Inside Counsel achieve better performance from their law departments. In today’s world, that means she spends lots of time helping inside counsel deal with budget cuts, some as high as 50 per cent. Pam is uniquely qualified, having been an outside lawyer in big law firms, the head of litigation of a multi-billion financial services company (and litigation seems to be where budget excesses seem to thrive), Chief Counsel of the Pennsylvania Department of Insurance, Deputy General Counsel of Pennsylvania, and General Counsel at a subsidiary of Advanta Corporation. The prism she has seen the world through gives her unique insights into the challenges faced by inside counsel in today’s world.
Pam and I had spoken before, and we certainly have posted on a number of discussions over at Legal On Ramp. But until our recent conversation, I had not had a chance to get beyond the resume. What I found in my discussion with Pam is that her resume merely scratches the surface of what she brings to the table. Creative, insightful and able to cut to the chase while still recognizing the frequently-less-than-obvious internal hurdles many GSs have to confront as they struggle to achieve the improvements demanded of them.
I make this promise to inside counsel: if you are confronting budget issues, speaking with Pam would be a great place to start. I would be shocked if you didn’t leave that conversation believing there are ways to achieve the impossible.