Our Graduates - Katie Boone '06L
|Katie Boone '06L is in-house counsel for the Atlanta-based DS Waters, a bottled water producer and drinking products distributor with more than 4,400 employees.
For Katie Boone '06L, the best part about working at DS Waters of America is the variety of her workload and being involved in an expanding business. As in-house counsel for the Atlanta-based company - a bottled water producer and drinking products distributor with more than 4,400 employees - Boone has handled a $20 million acquisition in house, analyzed FDA regulations of the industry, and covered an assortment of employee matters.
And that's all been within the last twelve months - her first year at the company.
DS Waters is a national bottled water company more commonly recognized by its regional brand names. These include Crystal Springs, Alhambra, and Sparkletts. The company's water products are delivered to more than one million customers in homes and offices and are sold in retail outlets across the continental US.
"I'm a corporate attorney, so I handle our acquisitions and contract negotiation," says Boone. Since there are only four attorneys on the in-house team, she also handles litigation matters, something she says she wouldn't have had the opportunity to do at a large firm. "We're a small legal team, so we all do everything," she says.
Boone made the jump to DS Waters after a three-year stint as an associate at Alston & Bird where she worked for the Financial Services and Executive Compensation groups. "I think it's just a personality type – whether you like to be incredibly specialized and deal with one type of transaction all day, every day," she says. "And that just wasn't me."
Boone, who majored in biology and political science at the University of Georgia, chose W&L after looking at a number of law schools. "I decided I wanted to go to a small school because I had gone to a really large undergraduate university," she says. "I wanted something that was going to be a different experience."
Corporate law professor Lyman Johnson triggered her interest in corporate governance and ethics and professor of practice Carter "Chip" McGee proved particularly helpful in preparing Boone for her current job. He used a practical, real-world approach in class, breaking down corporate documents and discussing the issues involved. "Most law school classes prepare you for litigation, rather than a corporate practice," she says, "so having a practical class like I did with Professor McGee prepared me for the real world." This type of approach to a legal education is why Boone thinks W&L is on the right track with its new third year training program.
Boone also appreciated the accessibility of W&L's professors, a sociable bunch unafraid to join students for dinner or a few games of bowling. Or even an airplane ride. "One of my professors took me and some classmates up in his [plane]" she recalls. "He flew us around to check out the Shenandoah Valley in the fall- this is the sort of experience that makes W&L a special place."
- by Amy Balfour '89, '93L