Tell us about your background as a General Counsel and current career status…

I currently work at Poshmark, a leading social marketplace for new and secondhand style for women, men, kids, pets, home, and more. I landed at Poshmark in October of 2020 as a result of their search for a General Counsel in the months leading up to their IPO.

How does your industry help define your role as General Counsel?

I find marketplace companies to be particularly unique when it comes to not only the legal issues faced but also the business dynamics to consider in making decisions with respect to those issues. Striking a balance between being a marketplace facilitator while also ensuring quality and authenticity of merchandising, staying ahead of local and international rules and regulations, and how buyers and sellers transact business is an ever-evolving landscape and one that keeps the job fun and exciting day after day.

How do you feel the General Counsel should act as a business partner?

I believe our role as General Counsels (and in-house attorneys more broadly) can have as little, or as great, an impact as we choose. We can simply guide the business on the correct legal trajectory and thinking, and perhaps from a responsibilities perspective we have “done our job” – however – the true magic of being an in-house attorney is leaning into the entire business, providing our insights, being thoughtful and collaborative, and helping all teams succeed whether our help is legal in nature or not. We are uniquely positioned to drive holistic growth and culture in our views and actions (in turn shedding the reputation of being “bottlenecks” of business), and we can either step up and lean into that opportunity, or we can continue to simply be “company attorneys”. I will always choose the path of stepping up and leaning in, and advise all others to do the same.

How do you see the professional growth trajectory as a General Counsel?

Interestingly enough, I’ve already begun splitting my time at Poshmark between my role as General Counsel and also a newly expanded role as their head of Strategy and Corporate Development. I think that working as a General Counsel provides an amazing perspective and insight into almost every aspect of the businesses we represent, and positions forward-thinking business minded GCs very well to transition into similar roles, given the scope and exposure of their GC position.

What is the best advice you can give for In-House Counsel?

My career path has certainly been unique, and I truly believe that its this unique/nontraditional path that has really allowed me to be the person and professional I am today. I remember graduating law school and feeling like the odd one out for choosing to go in-house immediately out of law school – later in my career for choosing jobs to gain experience instead of gain titles, pay, or status – but all of these choices – prioritizing my own passions and always keeping my long term growth in mind – have landed me where I am today. My recommendation is to truly follow your own heart and mind throughout your career – and although you should listen to others and learn from their mistakes, successes, etc. – at the end of the day you are the only one that knows what’s right for you. Follow that path, be confident in yourself and your choices, and those choices will shine through as you advance through your career.

About Evan Ferl

“Evan Ferl is the General Counsel and VP of Strategy and Corporate Development for Poshmark. He graduated from the University of Florida for both undergrad and law school, and received his MBA from the University of Massachusetts. Evan lives in the Bay Area with his wife Courtney, and newly born son, Taylor – and spends his time outdoors, surfing, snowboarding, and doing other various beach and mountain type things.”