Alumni Spotlight: Shana Simmons (2009-2011; London, New York)

November 4, 2021

To celebrate Cleary Gottlieb’s 75th anniversary, alumni around the globe are taking time to reflect on their experiences at the firm.

Shana Simmons, General Counsel at Everlaw in California, shares her thoughts below.

What lessons did you learn at Cleary that prepared you for your future career?

Rich Lincer gave me the opportunity of a lifetime to work on Ports America’s commercial contracts as a first-year attorney. This was unique for Cleary for 2 reasons – commercial contracts really aren’t Cleary’s thing and neither is having a first year managing a client relationship. Through the Ports Americas matters, I learned how important it is to get to know your client – not just what’s in a corporate document, such as a prospectus, but the culture, the people, the mission, and the company’s risk tolerance. The attorneys who can weave seamlessly into and across a corporation’s fabric are the most successful. I believe this learning set me up for success in my career trajectory as a commercial attorney at Google, building out strong, customer-centric enterprise legal teams, and now as General Counsel at Everlaw.

What Cleary person and/or experience had a lasting impact on you personally?

That’s the special thing about Cleary – everyone with whom I interacted taught me something. From the folks who helped with data processing, to my admins, to the associates and partners, everyone has left such an indelible impression on me. To each and every one of them, I am forever grateful.

Why do you participate in the alumni network, and what would you say to someone who is considering getting involved?

The reason I joined Cleary as a bright-eyed, naïve second year Berkeley Law student is the same reason I stay involved – the people. The Cleary community is characterized by legal professionals who are intelligent, loyal, helpful, gritty, intellectually curious and adventurous. More importantly, this community shares my values of enacting change that helps others through the letter of the law. Who does not want to be around more people like that?

To learn more about Cleary’s global alumni network, click here.