about us

about us

about us

about us

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What is FLEX?

In-House Counsel on Demand

A service offering of Fenwick & West, FLEX provides high quality, customized and cost-effective interim in-house counsel staffing.  Much like our market leading, entrepreneurial client base, Fenwick constantly seeks ways to innovate and remain best in class both for our legal work and for our client service.  With this in mind, the firm launched FLEX.

Our Team

Our internal team is nearly all lawyers and all have very deep knowledge of the legal industry.
Please click on each team member’s photo to learn more about their experience.

Carole Coplan

GENERAL MANAGER

FLEX Role

Carole is responsible for managing the operations and strategy for FLEX’s growing business. When she’s not cultivating growth at the office, you can find Carole farming wine grapes and making wine in Sonoma.

Pre-FLEX

Carole has served as general counsel at Responsys (now part of Oracle) and Epylon (acquired by Accenture LLP), and has also practiced in-house at other bay area tech companies. Most recently, Carole was the VP of Business Development at Cryptography Research (acquired by Rambus).

Education

Carole is a graduate of University of Florida and San Francisco Law School.

Carole Coplan

GENERAL MANAGER

Shelly Davalos

HEAD OF ATTORNEY RECRUITING AND COMMUNITY

FLEX Role

Shelly is the Attorney Hiring and Community Manager for FLEX. When not working with our FLEX attorneys, you can find her enjoying time with her friends, family, and Daisy (the very lovable pooch they rescued from the streets).

Pre-FLEX

Prior to hanging up her attorney hat, Shelly was first a litigator and then practiced FDA regulatory law. She then left her practice and worked to pair amazing attorneys with clients and law firms for a boutique legal recruiting company.

Education

Shelly earned her B.A. from the University of California San Diego and her J.D. from the University of San Francisco.

Shelly Davalos

HEAD OF ATTORNEY RECRUITING AND COMMUNITY

Tania P. Shah

HEAD OF EMPLOYER BRANDING AND MARKETING

FLEX Role

Tania is responsible for FLEX's external presence and especially enjoys doing outreach in the legal and business communities. Outside of FLEX, she enjoys exploring San Francisco with her husband and two young children and doing volunteer work.

Pre-FLEX

Most recently, Tania was the Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at Pillsbury. Before that role, she was the Executive Director of the California Minority Counsel Program. Prior to CMCP, she was a corporate associate at Morrison & Foerster in Palo Alto.

Education

Tania went to U.C. Berkeley for both college and law school. Go Bears!

Tania P. Shah

HEAD OF EMPLOYER BRANDING AND MARKETING

Jesi Marquez

FLEX COORDINATOR

FLEX Role

Jesi is FLEX's left hand (literally). This south-paw provides general administrative support to the FLEX team.

Pre-FLEX

Prior to joining FLEX, Jesi studied and lived abroad in Switzerland and coached high school badminton at her alma mater in southern California.

Education

Jesi recently graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 2012 where she double majored in Legal Studies and Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies. GO BEARS!

Jesi Marquez

FLEX COORDINATOR

Donald Snead

CLIENT DEVELOPMENT MANAGER

FLEX Role

Officially, Donald is responsible for attracting and retaining clients for FLEX’s growing roster. When he’s not keeping the peace at FLEX headquarters, Donald enjoys keeping up with current events on his native East Coast.

Pre-FLEX

Donald practiced as a corporate associate, first with Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, and later at Perkins Coie in their Emerging Companies practice. Prior to this, Donald was well on his way to becoming a professional student when reality kicked in.

Education

Donald is a graduate of New York, Harvard and Northwestern Universities (in that order).

Donald Snead

CLIENT DEVELOPMENT MANAGER

Joselyn Chhabria

CLIENT DEVELOPMENT MANAGER

FLEX Role

Jocelyn coaches clients on how to resolve legal needs with the help of our talented legal MVPs. Off the court, you can find Jocelyn on the go with family, friends or her trusty earbuds.

Pre-FLEX

Prior to FLEX, Jocelyn led a team of recruiters for a large staffing agency. She started her career as a litigator, but traded in her briefs for attorney bios when she found herself job hunting for colleagues (and enjoying it more). She sees FLEX as the perfect place to exercise her legal background and passion for attorney placement.

Education

Jocelyn is a graduate of Seattle University School of Law and San Diego State University.

Jocelyn Chhabria

CLIENT DEVELOPMENT MANAGER

Naomi Pilchen

CLIENT DEVELOPMENT MANAGER

FLEX Role

Naomi helps identify companies in need of FLEX’s help and stays on top of our clients in case our super attorneys need to go to the rescue. In her spare time, she’s scootering around town with her rescue dog, Stanley.

Pre-FLEX

Naomi was litigating when she realized that her favorite part of practicing was client relationships. So, she joined a legal staffing agency to gain in-depth business development experience. She's excited to help companies easily and quickly solve their legal problems with the help of FLEX.

Education

Naomi is a graduate of UC Berkeley and UC Hastings College of the Law.

Naomi Pilchen

CLIENT DEVELOPMENT MANAGER

In the Media

Here are some recent articles about FLEX.

Flexing Its Muscles

Featured in Forum Magazine (Thomson Reuters)


Mindfulness is a thing at your outside law firms. Should you follow suit?

Featured in Inside Counsel


Making One of the Most Brutal
Jobs a Little Less Brutal

Featured in The Atlantic


Is the Billable Hour Obsolete?

Featured in The Atlantic


FLEX, Friend to Startups, Gets New Boss

Featured in The Recorder

History

CO-FOUNDERS RALPH PAIS AND ALEXANDRA SMITH

FLEX was launched in 2010 by Ralph Pais, then the Chair of Fenwick’s Technology Transactions practice, and Alexandra “Alex” Smith, a former Fenwick associate who was then managing operations at a startup.  With his vast experience serving startup clients, Ralph knew there were times clients would benefit from a high quality, less expensive option for day-to-day legal needs with predictable billing.  Ralph and Alex also recognized there were many talented lawyers that craved more flexibility in their work life.  FLEX was born as a synergistic solution to address both of these needs.  FLEX has continued to grow rapidly ever since. While Alex has taken the FLEX philosophy to heart and is traveling the world, Ralph remains an adviser to FLEX.