Brittany Heilmann

“Mentoring is only going to get more important”

Scaling legal
October 26, 2022

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Who was your mentor in the Juro community’s mentoring programme?

I was paired with an attorney based in the UK, who has several years of legal experience, both in the private sector and in-house with scaling tech companies - Bratin Roy, the GC at Ripjar.

How did you find the experience?

I had a wonderful time - Bratin had really great practical advice to give me around broad issues like dealing with imposter syndrome, right down to the nitty gritty of contract language, for example.

As sole counsel it was great to have another lawyer to bounce ideas off of and get a gut check on certain issues - when you’re the one the business relies on, it’s nice to have an external guide to lean on as well!

What was the most valuable aspect of your mentoring sessions?

The best thing was the relationship I built with an inspiring GC! We’re planning to stay in touch, and we actually met in person at Juro’s conference in May. I know I can rely on Bratin if I have questions in the future, and that’s been really valuable to me, knowing that I can reach out as and when I need to.

“Mentoring is only going to get more important, now that to be a successful in-house lawyer you need to be able to address everything, from HR-related issues to data privacy”

How important is mentoring for in-house lawyers?

Mentoring has proved crucial specifically for me when I moved in-house. It took me a while to build up the confidence to know what I could handle and what fell beyond my scope of competency.

It’s so different to private practice, where we would handle anything that came through the door because we had a larger team and more resources to hand.

Having to now gauge budget, resources and workload in a scaling business takes some getting used to, but it’s so valuable to have a community of in-house lawyers who’ve been through similar experiences, especially in the tech industry.

Mentoring is only going to get more important, now that to be a successful in-house lawyer you need to be able to address everything, from HR-related issues to data privacy.

"The people who’ve made the biggest impact on me aren’t always other lawyers ... other leaders in our organization have a business-oriented mindset that really helps set the standard"

Are there any other mentors who have made a big impact on you?

Yes, I’ve had a few informal mentors, but I feel like the people who’ve made the biggest impact on me in my career aren’t always other lawyers.

In my current position, for example, other leaders in our organization have an incredible business-oriented mindset that really helps set the standard for me.

It’s always a good reminder to touch base with the commercial side and understand the end goals for the business. Those informal mentoring opportunities have helped me determine our risk tolerance, which helps me really focus on the issue.

Who would be your dream mentor?

An ideal mentor would be someone who is excellent at seeing the forest for the trees; looking at the big picture and knowing how we should proceed to add the most value in the long term. Someone who:

  • Is really practical and strategic in their approach
  • Is empathetic, which is crucial to being a professional in general, but definitely being an in-house lawyer
  • Can read people and respond in a way that acknowledges their priorities and objectives

My ideal mentor would also have a sense of humour - which is necessary, and underrated, in an in-house role!

Join our 700-strong community of in-house lawyers and legal ops teams, for access to the best events, curated content, networking opportunities and the hottest jobs - as well as a chance to join our upcoming mentoring programs.

Brittany Heilmann is the Legal and Compliance Manager at ChartMogul.

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