Group Director, U.S. Consumer Protection Compliance

Location: Bentonville, Arkansas

During her almost three years with Brownstein, Alissa Gardenswartz was a member of the firm’s Litigation Department, where she focused primarily on state attorneys general engagement for clients as well as consumer protection work. Now, she serves as the group director of consumer protection compliance for Walmart. In this profile, she tells us about her role for the world’s largest company and how Brownstein helped develop her internal networking skills.

Tell us about your career path after Brownstein.

I joined Walmart initially as in-house counsel, specifically to help the company navigate its interactions with state AGs in all respects, from investigations to consumer complaints to opportunities for proactive partnerships. I was in that role for approximately 18 months before moving over to Walmart’s compliance organization. I now lead the team that’s responsible for consumer protection law compliance for both Walmart and Sam’s Club U.S. operations. I’m still using my lawyer brain and knowledge, although I’m not currently a lawyer for the company. My role is more business-focused; you could say it’s at the intersection of business, law and politics!

What skill did you develop while working at Brownstein that you use most in your current role?

Internal networking. It was made very clear to me at Brownstein it was really important to ensure that other groups within the firm knew me and understood my skillset so it could help them leverage that skillset with existing clients to expand the firm’s relationship with them. I’ve used these internal networking skills at Walmart, which is obviously an enormous organization. In order to get things done, it’s critical to establish relationships across all parts of the company and get people to understand what you do and how it impacts their part of the business.

What did you like most about working at Brownstein?

The caliber of the people, both personally and professionally. People who are both at the top of their game professionally and good quality humans who care a lot, not just about their work but how they can serve their communities.

What advice would you give to someone starting their career at the firm?

Take opportunities to understand what else is happening at the firm and what the firm does so that early on you can develop an understanding of how things connect. While you want to develop an expertise, it’s also really important to understand everything else that happens at Brownstein to know how to leverage that to help clients and grow the business overall.