Meet Abby Durlester! The Newest Member of Stock Legal

Meet Abby Durlester! The Newest Member of Stock Legal

Hi from the downright majestic Stock Legal conference room! I’m a third generation Saint Louisan, and it is neat to be working in one of the historic CWE buildings at which I grew up marveling. I’ve spent my first days in the office getting to know the remainder of Team Stock Legal, and I am excited about practicing alongside such good people – thank you for being so welcoming!

For me, last year consisted of activities now synonymous with 2020: nonstop family time, studded with challah-baking, adopting a rescue dog, struggling with significant anxiety and concerns about the unknown, taking neighborhood walks, etc. And, like many people, I spent time reflecting on what I wanted out of my career, and how to make that happen. I also spent a lot of time watching Netflix’s “Love Is Blind.” Believe it or not, both efforts led to much clarity.

My desire to become a lawyer developed at age 16, and completely by accident. What started as a couple friends looking for bands to play at an upcoming parents-are-out-of-town house party (sorry to my mom, who is definitely reading this) grew into an all-day concert at an outdoor amphitheater. I handled the organizational stuff, including the contracts, and I can still remember driving home after that first concert, having that lightning bolt “this is it” moment. Fast-forwarding to law school[1], I pursued entertainment law as planned, clerking for a lawyer with mainly music and publishing clients. As a 2L, my dream job manifested: I was accepted to Warner Bros.’ fourteen-person Legal Internship program. All was proceeding as planned, I was packing for L.A., and then I received a letter: I’d been assigned to a television production group. I panicked. I was (and am) a methodical writer, TV work requires such a quick turnaround, and it wasn’t music. The abridged version is that I calmed myself, kept an open mind, got up to speed (literally), and fell hard for production work.

Following that path led to more rarefied experiences: working at Harpo[2], handling production work as an associate at a firm, and becoming Counsel and Director of IP at a multimedia production company. The vast majority of my career I’ve been in-house; even when I wasn’t, I was spending most of my time effectively serving as a “fractional” general counsel[3]. So, when I began job searching last year, my initial inclination was to look for something in-house, but nothing out there felt like a great fit. At the same time, we were obsessively watching “Love is Blind”[4], which served as an excellent escape, but also as a reminder of the importance of open-mindedness and re-assessing one’s values. What did I want to put into, and get out of, my career? Above all, I wanted to be part of a team again; to work with and for genuine, authentic, and positive people; to feel like I was helping people in some way; and, to continue doing something legal, even if it wasn’t an expressly attorney role. In looking for a position that fulfilled these objectives, I applied for an interesting-sounding non-attorney opening at a company I admire. It didn’t pan out, but the interview reinforced my growing suspicion that I really wanted to remain a full-time attorney. Back to my search I went.

A few weeks later, the company’s COO, with whom I’d interviewed and really connected, sent me an email. “I want to throw out an idea,” she said. “One of my oldest, dearest friends is an attorney at Stock Legal…” I replied, “If Dan[5] is willing, I’d love the introduction”. Needless to say, Dan and I became fast friends, he encouraged me to meet Sara, I had the opportunity to meet and get to know Sara, and…now I’m here at Stock Legal, with all of my value objectives more than met. As the couples in “Love is Blind” reminded us, lasting relationships are the ones of shared values, that are authentic, and which evolve organically. I feel fortunate that this new opportunity is all of the above!


[1] Go (Loyola University Chicago) Ramblers!

[2] No, I never met Oprah. The only time she came into the legal building, I was getting proposed to in San Francisco, which is just about the only thing that could’ve outweighed meeting Oprah.

[3] A “fractional” GC is an attorney who provides GC-like services on a limited basis to a firm client

[4] “Love is Blind: After the Altar” reunion special hits Netflix this Wednesday at midnight!!!!!

[5] Julius, Estate Planning