On July 1, 2015, Margie Lariviere ‘94 became the General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for the State Compensation Insurance Fund — a company founded in 1914 that has been California’s largest provider of workers’ compensation insurance for over 100 years.
Prior to becoming the General Counsel at State Fund, she worked in insurance law for over 20 years. Lariviere recently sat down with UC Hastings to talk about her new role.
Q: What are some of your responsibilities as a General Counsel at State Fund?
A: I oversee a 50+ corporate legal department that provides advice and counsel to State Fund. My team represents State Fund in administrative and civil proceedings. We are responsible for ensuring compliance with applicable statutes and regulations. I also advise an 11 member Board of Directors on legal issues to ensure that State Fund complies with all legal requirements and maintains the highest ethical behavior.
Q: What is one of the most challenging undertakings that you've had in your new role so far?
A: From a personal perspective, it’s been a pleasure to meet the diverse workforce at State Fund that is spread throughout the state. From a legal perspective, it’s been learning the laws that impact worker compensation in California.
Q: How did your education at UC Hastings prepare you for the position?
A: UC Hastings provided a forum for not only learning the law, but the faculty also taught me how to synthesize a large body of information into a clear and concise message, how to hone my presentation skills and interact with very bright people on a daily basis. I’d like to give a big shout out to Professor Leo Martinez for being a wonderful mentor over the past 20+ years.
Q: What is one of the most interesting/exciting aspects of your current job?
A: With two months into the job, it has all been exciting! I have enjoyed learning the history of State Fund, which just celebrated its 101st anniversary offering workers compensation insurance to California employers. I attended my first Board meeting last week as the Corporate Secretary, where we focused on State Fund’s strategic initiatives. A first for me was evaluating what issues were subject to open or closed sessions under the Bagley Keene Act. The general counsel role requires a combination of legal, business and leadership skills, and I enjoy the variety of issues that I face on a daily basis from pursuing RICO actions to team building exercises.
Q: What career advice would you give to current UC Hastings students?
A: Enjoy your time at UC Hastings and begin to develop a network of connections with fellow students. Take time to consider the area of law that interests you and whenever possible get real world experience in those areas. A number of books have been published recently on the pursuit of happiness. A big part of being happy is finding work that is challenging and engaging, and working with a team that you admire and respect.