Name: Emily Broach
Title: Marketing Counsel, North America, Colgate-Palmolive Company
Firm Background: Emily was a summer associate in 2010 and an associate in the Litigation group in the Chicago and New York offices from 2011 – 2017.
Can you tell us a little about your background? Where are you from originally?
I grew up mostly in Michigan, then attended college and law school at The University of Chicago. I was a summer associate at Drinker Biddle in 2010 and started practicing in the firm’s Chicago office before transferring to the NY office in 2013 due to my husband's job. We thought we'd head back to Chicago after a few years, but 9 years later we are still here! I left the firm in 2017 to join Colgate-Palmolive Company.
When did you first become interested in the legal profession as a career? Did you always envision yourself going in-house?
Both of my paternal grandparents are lawyers, and I've wanted to be a lawyer since I was in high school, and ended up going straight through college to law school. I didn’t plan on going in-house at the beginning of my career and wasn’t looking to do so when the opportunity presented itself. But after getting to work closely with some of the in-house lawyers at Drinker Biddle’s client companies over the years and getting to meet the amazing people that I’d be able to work with at Colgate-Palmolive Company, whose values and mission (a caring, innovative growth company that is reimagining a healthier future for all people, their pets and our planet) align with my own, I knew it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.
What skills or lessons did you learn during your tenure at the firm that have proven particularly valuable in your career or in life?
I have many fond memories of my time at Drinker Biddle - I was lucky to work with great colleagues and friends. Some of my favorite memories include an arbitration I did with Jim Altieri and Rick Haggerty; winning various motions to dismiss with Brad Andreozzi and Justin Kay; and talking about strategy and approach with my case teams. I was lucky to work with people who valued collegiality in all interactions, including with opposing counsel. Seeing how building relationships can lead to positive outcomes, even in a conflict, is something I’ve carried with me throughout my career.
Can you describe your current role and responsibilities?
I joined Colgate in 2017 as part of its in-house litigation team, focusing on consumer class action litigations and advising brands on the litigation implications of our advertising plans, which was a continuation of much of the work I was doing at Drinker Biddle. While in that role, I had two short-term assignments, one as the lead counsel supporting our Hill’s Pet Nutrition innovation and marketing teams, and the other supporting our Global Oral Care marketing team. In 2020, I joined Colgate’s North America legal team as a Senior Marketing Counsel. In this role I provide legal guidance to our brands related to all stages of product innovation and marketing, including product development, claim substantiation, and compliance with FTC, state law, and other legal requirements in the US and Canada and also defend and bring challenges to advertising before self-regulatory bodies such as the NAD. In this role, I work closely with Marketing, Sales, Shopper Marketing, Omni Channel, R&D, Regulatory, Legal and other functions to support our business plans and provide creative, practical and compliant solutions aligned with business goals. It’s fun to work closely with the business to help our products come to life.
What has been the greatest challenge thus far in your current position?
I think most in-house lawyers will say that the most challenging thing about being in-house is that you often don’t know what the day will bring, and you spend a lot of time in meetings! Fortunately, I work with a great team that makes working through whatever the day brings much easier, and I’m constantly learning, which I love.
What has been your proudest achievement in your current role?
I started my current role in a new area of law during the pandemic, so I’m most proud of building relationships with my new business partners over video meetings and getting to see our projects and products that we work so hard on come to life.
Are there things you know now that you wish you knew when you first left big law and transitioned in-house role that might help someone in a similar position today?
At a law firm, we know it’s critical to be able to communicate simply and effectively, but it’s an even more important skill in-house when you’re often communicating legal concepts to non-lawyers who need answers quickly. And I can’t underscore enough how critical it is to understand your client’s business and provide practical, actionable solutions. Being practical and giving clear advice and solutions will make you a key resource for the business, whether you’re an outside law firm providing counsel to in-house lawyers, or an in-house lawyer supporting your business partners (and yes, not billing time is as amazing as it sounds!)
What hobbies, passions or adventures occupy your leisure time?
I have three small children (7, 4 and 8 months), so most of my time outside of work is spent with them! I also love to exercise, read and bake.