Farrah Pepper, chief legal innovation counsel for Marsh & McLennan Companies, has been named the winner of the fourth annual Monica Bay STEM Leadership Award, given in honor of my friend and former colleague Monica Bay, the longtime editor-in-chief of the the former ALM publication Law Technology News.

Pepper, a lawyer and self-described tech evangelist, serves in a dual role at Marsh & McLennan, leading the company’s discovery policy and strategy while also tasked more broadly with exploring the power and opportunity of legal technology to enhance the company’s legal and compliance practice groups and improve the delivery of legal services to their internal customers.

Before joining Marsh & McLennan in March, Pepper was executive counsel for discovery at GE. Earlier in her career, she was of counsel at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, where she launched the firm’s authoritative twice-yearly e-discovery case law update.

I had the privilege of serving on the selection committee for this year’s award, together with Gail L. Gottehrer, co-chair of the Privacy, Cybersecurity and Emerging Technologies team at Akerman; Donna Payne, CEO at PayneGroup; Judith Flournoy, chief information officer at Kelley Drye; Nishan DeSilva, head of the data governance product suite at Microsoft; and Monica Bay.

Flournoy, in announcing the award, described Pepper as well deserving of the award based upon her work history, current activities and desire to further promote the STEM Award.

Pepper thanked Bay for influencing her career. “I first encountered Monica Bay early in my career, and can personally attest what a strong force she has been – and remains – for women and diversity in legal technology. Now many years later, I have always appreciated the time and interest she took in a junior lawyer’s career trajectory and I try to emulate her efforts with the next generation.”

Alison A. Grounds, litigation partner at Troutman Sanders and the first recipient of the award, presented this year’s award to Pepper in October during an event held in conjunction with the Electronic Discovery Institute (EDI) annual summit.

The Monica Bay STEM Leadership Award recognizes individuals whose contributions have led to innovation and progress in the legal technology industry. The award is given to leaders who demonstrate a commitment to the mentorship and sponsorship of women in legal technology and who stand out as team players and thought leaders.

Prior winners of the award, in addition to Grounds, were Sheryl Nolan, senior program manager for Office 365 security and compliance at Microsoft, and Kate Cain, director of market intelligence and operations at Sidley Austin.

Photo of Bob Ambrogi Bob Ambrogi

Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division.