We’d like to introduce you to some of the people from around the world who make us who we are. In this post, meet Natasha Walwyn-Robinson, senior counsel in Progress’ legal department.
A lawyer for a tech company who works from home. An active mother who is such a fitness enthusiast, she might just become a bodybuilder. A mentor who wants to give back to other young professionals looking for their big break. Natasha has a unique—yet at the same time, universal—story to tell of finding her way to Progress and helping make the company what it is today.
We have three sub-teams within the legal department. One team is the corporate law department that handles M&A (mergers and acquisitions), securities and that sort of work. There’s the commercial legal department, which handles legal support for our sales team and contracting with our customers and partners, and then there’s my team, the enterprise legal services team and we handle pretty much everything that doesn’t fall in the two areas I just mentioned.
On any given day, I could be working on a variety of practice areas, including procurement, employment law, intellectual property law, litigation, and any general legal issues that may come up for the business.
My favorite part is having conversations with different teams within the business. I’m fascinated by technology, so any opportunity I get to work with the business teams and in particular, the product teams and engineering, especially on the IP side with invention discovery, and seeing what new and cool things we’re working on, is what I like most about my role.
I originally wanted to be a pediatrician growing up and then I got to college and realized that I was not good in the clinical setting. I did some internships and did not picture myself going to work in a hospital or a clinic. Part way through college I decided to switch my major. I ended up graduating biology pre-law.
When I started at Suffolk (University) for law school, they had a really strong top-rated IP concentration program. Through a series of internships with different companies and firms, I realized that there was an area within IP where you could focus on technology. As soon as I graduated, I looked for opportunities to practice in that area.
One of my first jobs was at Oracle on their contracts team where I got a lot of good, practical experience as a lawyer and interfacing with the different departments in a technology company. It was a good intro to what it would be like to practice at a technology company. I just took it from there and continued working in the technology industry for various companies large and small until I landed at Progress.
One thing that I love about Progress is that you’re really encouraged to be curious and to challenge norms and really think through issues and work collaboratively. Having worked at different companies, being a part of different teams, Progress, by far, has been the most impressive in that sense that it is a place where you can take an idea or anything you’re working on whether you’re a lawyer or whatever your role is and be encouraged to work with it, and play with it, and see where it can take you.
I love cooking. I know that seems very boring, but I recently rediscovered it since I’ve dabbled a little bit in being a vegan. What I learned is that I do love meat, but I also do enjoy the aspect of being a vegan where you’re eating very fresh foods, whole foods, and not processed foods and finding ways to make them tasty and delicious. So, I’ve discovered some new spices I haven’t tried before and it’s helped me to expand my palate and cook healthier meals for my family.
The other thing I really like to do is work out. I’m considering joining a bodybuilding competition this year. The more I research and the more I talk to people and see how intense it is and time-consuming it is, I don’t know practically how realistic it will be for me to devote time to it, but it is something that I see myself doing. I’ve always been into fitness, but this is like the next level for me so I’m excited to see where that goes.
Traditionally, in-house lawyers do not work from home so I’m very appreciative that Progress allows me to. I am able to get some things done before and after work that I probably wouldn’t be able to do if I was commuting. I also have a very supportive husband who gets it and who works with me especially when I have to travel to Bedford (Massachusetts) to watch the kids.
I aspire, at one point in my legal career, to be a dean at a law school. Yes, practicing law is great, but I ultimately want to pay it forward and share my knowledge with students as they grow on their journey.
Dave Pierce was the employer brand manager for Progress.
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