In-House Counsel Fellowship helps 2012 graduates hit the ground running
Through BU Law's In-House Counsel Fellowship Program, recent BU Law alumni and graduating 3Ls receive funding for one year to work in the legal departments of selected corporations and nonprofit organizations. The partnership strongly benefits both parties: Graduates gain a year of valuable hands-on legal experience, and legal departments benefit from high-caliber talent. We caught up with the following two members of the class of 2012 to learn more about their fellowships.
Artem Shtatnov, Massachusetts Gaming Commission
Artem Shtatnov (’12) entered law school seeking to apply his love for economics to the practice of corporate law. And now he's doing just that as an In-House Counsel Fellow at the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.
“What originally interested me about the Commission was that it’s a small business that’s expanding very quickly with all the aspects of a startup company,” says Shtatnov. “I thought it would be a good place to learn new skills and get involved in a large variety of legal issues. I would be able to put my bachelor’s degree in economics to good use, as the Commission is focused on economic development by creating an entirely new industry.”
Shtatnov works on a team with three other lawyers handling all legal matters at the Commission, including drafting qualifier and confidentiality determinations. During his first week on the job, he was asked by one of the Commissioners to help her draft determination letters regarding which gaming applicants must undergo background investigations—this turned out to be one of his favorite projects.
“That project epitomized why I enjoy working at the Commission,” says Shtatnov. “It allowed me to combine my two scholarly passions: business and law.”
“What I enjoy most about working at the Gaming Commission is the fact that they are still in their startup phase, and we are working with issues that nobody has ever dealt with before,” says Shtatnov.
Artem has won high praise from every member of the Commission and Commission staff with whom he has worked. He devised a system for managing and processing the factual and legal components of the highly detailed background investigations the Commission is now performing as part of its casino licensing process. He has drafted regulations the Commission has promulgated, has facilitated compliance with Freedom of Information Act requests the Commission has received, has been involved in preparation of minutes of the Commission’s proceedings, and has successfully undertaken a variety of legal tasks that are necessary for the Commission's smooth operation. Artem, in turn, has benefitted from early opportunities to take responsibility for legal matters in a newly created public agency that is still growing. We are very fortunate to have Artem on our team. — James McHugh ('70), Commissioner, Massachusetts Gaming Commission
Kyle Childers (’12) is working as a member of the in-house legal team for Plymouth Rock Assurance Corporation in their Boston home office. He provides legal assistance on industry-specific issues and assists with general operations such as financial regulation and labor law.
“I’m only three months into the one-year fellowship, but I’ve already had the opportunity to work on a complex and diverse assortment of corporate legal issues,” says Childers. “As part of a business that offers a competitive product and service, I often get to explore creative answers to problems that are unique to the industry.”
Plymouth Rock Assurance provides automobile and homeowners insurance in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut and New Jersey. Childers notes his adaptability is an asset on the job, and he’s had the opportunity to develop new skills.
“The legal team and various departments we represent fall under the same umbrella and are seeking the same goals,” says Childers. “So there’s an environment of cooperation and joint problem-solving that I’ve never experienced in the legal industry before.”
Childers notes how great the opportunity is for BU alumni. “After meeting with all the attorneys on the team, I knew I would enjoy working here,” says Childers. “Because of their diverse backgrounds, they each provide unique, meaningful, and constructive feedback that is constantly helping me become a better attorney.”
I have found the In-House Fellowship program to be an innovative way to assist new lawyers in jump-starting their careers, while at the same time providing a cost-effective opportunity to fill a need that we had here in the Plymouth Rock Assurance Legal Department. After meeting with several highly qualified candidates, we were fortunate to have Kyle Childers join us. Kyle has been able to provide valuable assistance in several areas, including research and analysis of federal regulatory changes, drafting internal procedures to comply with new state regulatory guidance, and working directly with internal clients on drafting and negotiating vendor contracts. Like many in-house legal departments, ours is made up of relatively senior attorneys. Having Kyle as a resource has allowed us to be more efficient. And, it is a pleasure having him on the team. — Ken Willis ('94), Corporate Counsel, Plymouth Rock Assurance