Announcing the winners of SimpleLegal’s Legal MVP Award

Kara Wen | April 21, 2021 | Articles

2020 posed unforeseen changes and challenges, but the legal industry has been incredibly resilient. Legal teams have stepped up to the plate to face uncertainty with confidence, looking for creative ways to optimize processes and drive savings – often without additional budget or headcount.

At the end of last year, we asked in-house legal departments to submit colleagues for the Legal MVP Award, highlighting individuals who had an undeniable impact, from inspiring colleagues with their continued work output to tackling a challenging year with flexibility and a positive attitude. After careful consideration of submissions, we’re pleased to announce the 3 winners!

Congratulations to Emelita Hernandez-Bravo, Director and Head of Legal Operations at Fitbit

Emelita does her job fiercely well at a baseline. She is always seeking out efficiencies and process improvements, and wrangling resources across multiple business units to improve things. According to her colleagues, Emelita also happens to have an incredibly high E.Q., a cutting sense of humor, and an attitude that inspires her team members to keep at it.

“In short, Emelita gets tough things done well, and makes you want to do it again with her after it’s over.”

Congratulations to Megan Lutes, Legal Director at Convoy, Inc.

Megan exemplifies and defines what a legal MVP should be. She started when there were 200 employees and helped the company grow to 1000 in a little under a year. She leads the commercial transactions team, employment team, and immigration group and works tirelessly, often 7 days a week to help problem-solve, innovate, and be a strategic business partner. She has helped scale various functions including, but not limited to company COVID navigation; remote work considerations; risk, diversity and inclusion initiatives; immigration and travel restrictions; and other compliance-related issues.

On top of working around the clock, she has helped build one of the most diverse legal teams in the United States. Additionally, Megan speaks across the country on various topics ranging from: the intersection of indemnity, insurance, and limitations of liability to how to address imposter syndrome, to ethics in the legal profession. Megan also finds time to volunteer on various boards and with various companies advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the legal field. This year she received the 2020 Innovative Leader award at the Women, Influence, Power in Law national summit.

“She is seen as a leader, mentor, and power house at her company, on her legal team, and in the legal community. I am not able to do all of her work and accomplishments justice, but needless to say if anyone deserves this MVP award, it’s Megan.”

Congratulations to Jack Miller, Legal Director at Plenty Unlimited Inc.

Jack Miller is a powerhouse at Plenty. As noted, this has been a year of new challenges and obstacles. Jack not only led the Series D financing on the legal side but he has been at the core of supporting, from a legal perspective, on the numerous COVID requirements that affect the company’s legal obligations to employees. On top of tirelessly pushing through these obstacles, he has been more than supportive to the small legal team at Plenty Unlimited Inc. with a focus on improving processes and understanding the importance of legal operations to the success of the company and department. He has taken the time to work on standardizing and formalizing processes while also advocating and adopting new legal ops solutions.

“Jack always provides a holistic approach when solving these large problems and I can not thank him enough for being our MVP this year. Thank you Jack!!!”

Continuing to drive meaningful legal department change

Adapting to this new normal has not been easy. But it’s not just the winners who have adapted alone. We would also like to extend congratulations to everyone who has in their own way, no matter how small or large, contributed to their legal department’s success in 2020. We hope hearing from others in the industry has given you ideas on how to grow your legal department to new heights!