It takes only one look at Lora Spencer’s Twitter page (@TheLoraSpencer) to know that she loves a good quote. One of her favorite quotes is, “Move with intention, execute with purpose.” And that is exactly what Spencer does as principal litigation and investigations counsel at Medtronic, a global healthcare technology leader and the world’s largest medical device company.
There, she develops, drives, and manages litigation strategy, oversees investigations, and advises and counsels Medtronic’s business units on a myriad of matters to help the company achieve its strategic objectives, and its mission to “alleviate pain, restore health, and extend life.”
As a member of the global legal team, Spencer engages in deliberate litigation and investigation management impacting Medtronic’s cardiovascular, medical surgical, and neuroscience portfolios. “In my role, it’s critical that I survey risk across the enterprise. Not only must I assess the immediate impact of a decision on a particular matter, but also its potential ripple effect on the relevant portfolio and organization, to protect and advance Medtronic’s interest. This is what I mean to move with intention and execute with a purpose—this is what it means to be strategic.”
The deep, rich counsel that Spencer brings to Medtronic is uniquely grounded in her diverse professional experiences gleaned from big pharma, big law, and government service. Her early career and professional polish were forged at life science industry giants Pfizer Inc. and Genzyme (now Sanofi). In those settings, Spencer consistently received recognition for her business acumen and cross-functional leadership.
After graduating from law school, Spencer was distinguished as a Presidential Management Fellow (PMF), the federal government’s prestigious leadership development program, at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the largest research institute in the world. Spencer then sharpened her life sciences and legal expertise in the tough, yet prestigious litigation corridor of Philadelphia, at Reed Smith LLP, a leading global law firm. There, her practice focused on defending life science companies in product liability and commercial matters.
Her portfolio of responsibilities at Medtronic includes product liability, complex commercial, shareholder, and employment matters, and privileged investigations. She also supports responses to government litigation and investigations and collaborates with Medtronic’s corporate communications team on matters related to reputational risk.
The foundation of Spencer’s personal and professional determination to move with intention and purpose is based on an upbringing that, at times, was a hard struggle, as well as an early family loss. “At a very young age, I worked long, blistering summer days in insect-infested tobacco fields; and in the winter months, I arose to frosty mornings at the crack of dawn to chop wood needed to heat our home before school.”
Years later, Spencer’s mother had multiple heart attacks at ages twenty-eight, thirty-two, and thirty-six, then took her final breath at the tender age of thirty-nine. These adversities and her mother’s passing motivated Spencer to have a laser focus to live a purposeful and successful life. “Even with all the great diverse professional experiences I’ve had, nothing prepared me better for this role, and beyond, than my childhood.”
Indeed, Spencer thrives on the complex, working on multiple matters and collaborating across Medtronic’s complex organization on multidisciplinary teams, providing legal advice and counsel, and analyzing and evaluating risk. “I’m a problem solver. That’s what I do,” she says. “I’ve had to solve problems all my life, personally and professionally. I push back somewhat on the notion that everything is a problem, instead to me ‘everything is a possibility.’”
When not leveraging the aggregate of her diverse experiences, skills, and competencies, and “inspiring the extraordinary” at Medtronic by solving legal problems or providing advice and counsel, Spencer works to solve problems and identify possibilities on issues impacting her community.
Currently, she serves as a commissioner to the City of Austin, Texas, on the Community Police Review Commission, an appointment she received by the city manager; volunteers for Dress For Success’ Pathway to Employment program; mentors law firm associates in the National Bar Associations’ Associate Advancement Academy; serves as an advisory board member on professional golfer and PGA golf champion Cameron Champ’s Cameron Champ Foundation; and is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., to name a few.
Spencer’s civic contributions have led to her recognition as a 2022 Women, Influence & Power In Law honoree and a 2022 National Bar Association’s President’s Award recipient. When asked how she manages being a successful corporate attorney with her many volunteer activities, she credits the example set by her beloved grandmother, who at ninety-three continues to live a life of helping others.
In addition, Spencer quotes another Kentuckian, the great Muhammed Ali, “Service is the rent we owe for our place here on Earth.”
So, what is Spencer intentionally moving toward next? “I look forward to the opportunity to share the depth and breadth of my diverse experiences and accumulated knowledge and wisdom, cultivated over many years at global life science companies, federal government, big law, and in-house counsel setting, to appointments servicing corporate boards.
“Each challenge I’ve had, each problem I’ve solved, each experienced I’ve gained has built upon the last and prepared me for a corporate board opportunity,” she continues. “Until that time comes, I will continue to develop and execute strategies, move with intention, and execute with purpose to one day receive my appointment.”
Shook Hardy and Bacon LLP: “Lora was a critical part of our Medtronic team; she was strategic, innovative, and incredibly essential.” —Bryan Pratt, Partner
Greenberg Traurig congratulates Lora Spencer, Principal Litigation Counsel at Medtronic, for this well-deserved recognition honoring her truly extraordinary career, dedication to advancing inclusion, diversity and equity, and commitment to mentorship. Greenberg Traurig is proud of its longstanding partnership with Medtronic and supports its mission to transform global healthcare technology.