Associate General Counsel
Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)
Justin Martin is the current chair for the ACC Law Department Management Network (LDMN) and ambassador of the ACC Leadership Excellence Council, and former president of ACC Tennessee. He earned both his JD and BA from the University of Tennessee.
His present role is associate general counsel for the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). EPRI is a US$450 million non-government organization that brings a membership of 450 global utilities together with government stakeholders to benefit the public interest. His work encompasses legal, project, and operations management for scientific, strategic planning, and advisory solutions in energy, electricity, power, environment, and technology systems. Before EPRI, Martin worked in law firms for 11 years with five of those as a partner leading the firm's corporate, business, and transactional practice.
What interested you in the in-house practice of law, and what made you interested in participating in network leadership?
The opportunity to work strategically and tactically to devise, implement, and execute proactive solutions beyond the barrier of the billable hour. I could not resist the LDMN's tractor beam once I heard its motto, Best Content, Most Fun, Deepest Engagement. So, I joined under Steve Roth as social media chair a few years back.
Chair Justin Martin
Co-Vice Chair Amy Yeung
Co-Vice Chair Marissa Martin
Secretary Jessica Manning
How has the Law Department Management Network helped you in your career?
LDMN is a platform for shared experience. I entered thinking “network,” but quickly found myself amid a family affair. Prior chairs stay involved, providing mentorship, lessons learned, and positive encouragement that cumulates more experience than any one person can amass in one’s own lifetime.
What are some of the goals and/or objectives for the Law Department Management Network?
We seek to provide current or aspiring law department managers with insights, knowledge, and skillsets you don’t learn in law school, which aren’t necessarily rewarded by law firms. We share the best modern practices derived from shared learning for application by you, your team, your law department, your reporting tree, or your C-suite, board, and corporation. Basically, we meld knowledge of the “what” with skill in “how” a goal is realized.
LDMN Focus Areas
Leadership for innovation decision-making
Environmental, social, and governance (ESG)
Digital office and remote reporting
In your opinion, what are some of the ways that the Law Department Management Network provides value to its members?
Increased resilience and agility through highly applied knowledge, professionalism, and soft skills. As set forth more fully in ACC’s 2020 Law Department Compensation Report, in-house leaders are asked to do more either with fewer resources or no new incentives to reward excellence. LDMN meets that challenge by helping to contextualize the exercise of appropriate judgment as a cost of entry. That is, legal excellence is more of an entry vector to claim one’s seat at the table where the real value comes from leading the client to more operationally efficient procedures that promote better decision-making, accountability, and auditability.
What are ways in which the Law Department Management Network tries to keep its members engaged and interested?
We are becoming more digital. More written content is generated now than ever before, yet with reducing readership. We therefore have moved all Legal Quick Hits (LQHs) and leadership team calls to Zoom. We provide monthly newsletters with links to past LQHs and quick “In Case You Missed It” summaries. We also use our YouTube and LinkedIn platforms to post content, including a new series of digital shorts that our members can consume when they walk the dog or sip their morning coffee.
What substantive practice issues does your network address?
How to increase personal productivity, efficiency, and impact in the face of competing priorities. LDMN is able to do this because its content is unconstrained by role or issue, reaching across all experience levels and organizations. Our resources synthesize knowledge and information with management techniques that enhance the value of the legal department. We also provide useful, distilled, and digestible content to enhance professionalism. Additionally, LDMN shares best practices and aptitudes to manage change independently and cross-functionally.
Top Attended LDMN Webcasts
M&A Deal-Making 2021: The Role of In-house Counsel
Business Acumen and Cross-collaboration
What are some upcoming themes, ideas, or programs that members of the Law Department Management Network can look forward to?
This year’s theme is “In the Fast Lane,” which is based on the notion that modern counsel need to get from zero to 60 quickly in terms of digesting new concepts or learning what has changed since the last time they paid attention. For instance, how to do M&A if you aren’t transactional along with what’s new in M&A for remote deals and diligence. From there, we peek over the horizon to provide aid in navigation, like how to deal with materiality amid a pandemic. Then we plant road signs so folks with particular interests won’t miss out on knowing what technologies and products are the best for remote deals and closings based on demonstrated cost, time, usefulness, tradeoffs, and investment returns.