Alan Bryan: Senior Associate General Counsel – Legal Operations and Outside Counsel Management, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
#BakersDozen is a series of interviews with leading professionals in the fields of law, consulting, finance, tech, and more.
Tell us a bit about yourself and how you came to be in (or a customer of) the legal business?
I spent most of high school saying I wanted to be a doctor. I entered college as an “undeclared” major on the “pre-med” track. Somewhere in my freshman year, it hit me that I did not have an affinity for working in hospitals. As short-sided as that may have been, I now feel it was my subconscious telling me to jump on the path to law school. Though I have second guessed that decision a few times, I have rarely been uncomfortable in the roles I have held with my legal degree and believe it will be a benefit to me in where I want to go in my career.
What do you do for a living right now?
I am Senior Associate General Counsel for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. where my responsibilities include leading the Office of Outside Counsel Management and Legal Operations. Succinctly stated, we oversee certain internal operations and processes, as well as manage the company’s relationship with all of its law firms throughout the United States.
What has been your greatest triumph and your greatest success in the legal services field and what did you learn from each?
I have been very fortunate in my career thus far, but my greatest triumph might be overcoming my greatest adversity. At a critical time in my career, I lost faith in those who I believed in the most. It made me question the virtue of the profession I chose. In time, I came to realize that the actions of a few do not define the many, and they certainly do not define me. Today, I use that experience to advance issues of ethics in the profession, inclusiveness, law firm organization, and professionalism, among others. What I thought at the time was the greatest of all my disappointments turned out to be the greatest revitalization of my strengths.