Maryanne Lavan, Esq., WCL/JD ’84, has spent the last year and a half as senior vice president and general counsel at aerospace and weapons giant Lockheed Martin. Her role now includes the Corporate Secretary responsibilities for the corporation. Prior to her most recent appointment, Lavan spent 20 years working in other areas at Lockheed.
Lavan considers her time working outside of the legal department as an advantage, which positioned her well for her current work. “Sometimes you have to take risks with your career,” Lavan says. “Two stints outside of legal gave me much more perspective.”
Lavan reports to Lockheed Martin Chairman and CEO Bob Stevens and is responsible for management of the Corporation’s legal affairs and law department, including serving as counsel to Lockheed Martin Corporation’s senior leadership and the Board of Directors.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin employs about 126,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced technology systems, products and services. “I wake up every day happy to be at Lockheed Martin. It’s a terrific company with great values. It’s very energizing and inspiring,” she says.
At AU’s Washington College of Law, Lavan was a member of the Law Review and especially enjoyed her courses on torts and contracts. She is now an active member of the Public Contract Law Section of the American Bar Association and says the world she studied in while at WCL was very different than the one students find today. “FedEx was a new phenomenon. We did a lot of faxing,” she says. “There were no computers, no e-mail.”
Still, in giving advice to the law students of today who may be interested in pursuing work like hers, Lavan doesn’t hesitate. “Get experience outside the corporate world first. Get out and get on-the-ground experiences, and bring that expertise to the corporate world.”