Legal Operations Manager Shion Pattishall has been at Box for four years and leads Commercial Legal Operations, which supports the partner legal, sales legal and vendor legal teams. She is currently focused on implementing Ironclad as its buy- and sell-side contracts lifecycle management solution.
How did you find yourself in your role today?
I have a passion for creating structure and insight from disorder and data. Therefore, in every prior legal role I always managed an operational or project management component. It was something I always enjoyed doing outside my contracts management duties.
When I joined the Box Legal team as a Contracts Manager on the partnership team I managed some operational items, but mostly focused on redlining contracts. Maninder (Man) Sagoo, our VP, had a vision to initiate an ops team at Box and gave me the opportunity to lead the Commercial Legal Operations team. It was a no-brainer to say yes!
Describe your role in 3 words.
Innovative, collaborative, data-driven!
Tell us about Box. How does Legal play a role in the business?
Box is the industry-leading Content Cloud platform. Our mission is to power how the world works together. My favorite thing about Box Legal is that we are not just advisors to the business; we are embedded in the business itself. Every team with whom we work, from go-to-market to product and engineering, from the Wolfpack (what we call G&A) to business development, they all consider us part of their team. We are right there with them, finding creative solutions, closing deals, building products, blowing our customers’ minds.
Our stakeholders partner with us because they want to, not because they have to. That level of collaboration just makes the work we do so much more enjoyable and satisfying, because we know we’re helping the business drive towards its strategic goals and having fun while we do it!
What brings you the most satisfaction in your role? What makes you say, “Nailed it!”?
When someone says our team has made a process more efficient or automated. This gives me satisfaction knowing we were successful in helping the business.
Do you think of Legal as innovative? What are ways your team has enabled innovation at Box?
Yes, and when I think of Legal Operations, I think of innovative thinkers. We introduce new ideas for process improvement backed with data analytics to improve the business needs.
What are some of your priorities for 2021?
- Supporting my team as we hopefully head towards what our new normal will look like.
- Supporting the business as we continue to advance the Content Cloud.
- Getting our implementation of Ironclad complete, up and running, and then delivering our business users with the best of Box + Ironclad. There is so much potential in how the two platforms combine advanced contract lifecycle management and secure content management, and I’m really excited about this partnership!
Did COVID disrupt any of your initiatives? If so, how did you pivot?
In addition to Box, pretty much our entire IT stack is in the cloud, so the transition to remote work was relatively easy for us from a technology perspective. On the people-side, everyone’s circumstances are different and, of course there was some disruption and times have been challenging, but I am so amazed with how Boxers showed, and continue to show, incredible resilience and adaptability. We both maintained pace and focused on existing and new workstreams, while also supporting each other as teammates.
Any pleasant surprises arise? How do you keep morale up?
Our culture was already super strong — we are very tight knit. What’s been so thrilling to see is that our bonds have become even stronger through a variety of ways. Remote work has brought out new sides to everyone — we’ve been given windows into one another’s lives and personalities that weren’t there before, and we’ve found new ways to have fun, like Friday night Zoom happy hours with trivia, Jeopardy and Family Feud. We also still celebrate holidays and events. For Halloween, the Legal team would usually coordinate dressing up by theme. For 2020, we kept the tradition strong via Zoom and got dressed up as Disney characters; a subset of us decided to stick with the Alice and Wonderland theme.
Our values are intent, integrity, drive and empathy. What are Box’s values? Can you share a story of how that was exemplified?
Box’s company values are:
- Blow our customers’ minds.
- Take risks. Fail Fast. GSD (“Get Sh*t Done”).
- 10x it!
- Be an owner. It’s your company.
- Bring your ( ) self to work every day.
- Be candid and assume good intent.
- Make mom proud.
It’s hard to think of one story that showcases them, because we truly live them every day in everything we do. I know it sounds corny, but it’s honestly true. It’s hard to go a day where you won’t see one or multiple of these values being demonstrated, or referenced by someone as they celebrate another Boxer’s work, or use one of the values to bring us back to center.
What trends are you seeing in in-house legal that you find particularly exciting and/or interesting?
The use of technology to help legal teams work smarter and not harder is super interesting to me. We of course are looking forward to how Ironclad + Box can transform some of our contract process, both from a creation, negotiation and repository perspective, but also from a security, governance and ongoing management perspective. And I’m totally geeking out about the potential of AI/ML capabilities to make these technologies even smarter.
What would you tell your 25-year-old self?
Take that leap of faith and it’s ok to feel uncomfortable because it means you’re growing. At 25, I had a career as an urban planner for a city. I was craving something more fast paced and always had an interest to work in Legal, but thought I had to have a JD. When I moved back home to the Bay Area, I jumped at the opportunity to switch career paths. I’m forever grateful for what I’ve learned in my urban planning career (come talk to me about design and home remodels), but even more grateful that I took the risk of feeling uncomfortable to switch careers.
Mentorship and sponsorship in the workplace are critical for advancement. We’d love to know how they have made an impact in your life.
Whether or not they considered themselves as mentors, these folks made an impact on my career and I will always be appreciative of them. At Marvell, Sal Torres and Catherine Cu Rivera encouraged me to go outside of my comfort zone and entrusted me to complete the implementation of a CLM tool. Sharon Zezima, prior GC at GoPro, introduced me to CLOC, which really opened my eyes into the world of Legal Operations. Most recently, Man Sagoo, VP at Box, who gave me the opportunity to spin up our first Legal Ops team at Box in 2018. Each individual guided me in my career path and I wouldn’t be in my role today if it wasn’t for them.
I definitely wish there were more mentorship programs when I was in high school and college while I was thinking about my future career. At Box, we have a Global Impact Day where Boxers have a dedicated day to volunteer. Last year, I signed up to volunteer at Career Village where you can give career information and advice. They crowdsource the answers to every question from every student about every career. Most students think in order to have a career path in Legal you have to have a JD. It was nice to share that other great opportunities exist, such as in Legal Operations.
What are two things people don’t know about you? Fun facts or secret talents?
I crave movement — I am a certified lagree instructor, prior barre instructor, and spin enthusiast. Also, I really enjoy Halloween — especially getting my kids dressed up! They had some fun costumes over the years such as Chucky from Child’s Play, Napoleon from Napoleon Dynamite and Joker from Batman.
What book are you reading right now?
I’m a mother of a 5 and 1 year-old, so let’s be real — I rarely have control over the remote. The last show I watched was Little Baby Bum and Cocomelon. The last book I read is Heroes to the Rescue (Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom). If you know, you know. 🙂
What’s the first place you’ll travel to when we can do so safely again?
Disneyland and Hawaii!
Meet other legal leaders in this series, including Joel Benavides, Head of Global Legal and DPO at Redis Labs; Jennifer Chung, GC of AccuWeather; Ryan Black, Director of Legal Ops at Opendoor; Florence Chan, Legal Ops Manager at Cloudflare; and Deanna Sheridan, GC of Spartan Race. And if you’d like to get new jobs and invitations to exclusive member events, join the Ironclad Community.
Ironclad is the #1 contract lifecycle management platform for innovative companies. L’Oréal, Staples, Mastercard, and other leading innovators use Ironclad to collaborate and negotiate on contracts, accelerate contracting while maintaining compliance, and turn contracts into critical carriers of operational business intelligence. It’s the only platform flexible enough to handle every type of contract workflow, whether a sales agreement, an HR agreement or a complex NDA. The company was named one of the 20 Rising Stars on the Forbes 2019 Cloud 100 list, and is backed by leading investors like Accel, Y Combinator, Sequoia, and BOND. For more information, visit www.ironcladapp.com or follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.
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