LEGAL TEAM AND OUTSIDE COUNSEL
Starbucks’ legal arm consists of about 150 people,
including paralegals, support staff and the ethics and
compliance team. There are between 55 and 60 lawyers. One-half to 60% of the legal load is handled
in-house. External counsel are provided by Akin Gump
Strauss Hauer & Feld; Seattle-based Perkins Coie,
whose labor and employment practice Boggs considers
vital to Starbucks’ relationships with its employees;
legal communities “yield great candidates,” she
added, and law students, including those of color,
are brought into Starbucks for summer internships.
Additionally, the team holds its outside law firms to
a “very high standard,” and monitors their progress
on the diversity front. Boggs has been praised by the
Urban League, the Washington State Bar Association and the American Bar Association for fostering
diversity and inclusion.
Within the law department, every member believes he or
she is part of the diversity story.”
U.S. attorney for the Western District of Washington
from 1988 to 1994.
As a young lawyer, Boggs was a staff member within
the Office of the White House Counsel during the Iran-Contra investigation. She was one of three attorneys
who worked on responses to interrogatories from the
independent counsel to President Reagan. She was
one of two lawyers who defended the deposition of
then-Vice President George H.W. Bush.
The “historical moment” taught her important
lessons: It caused her to be “very good at risk management,” and provided valuable insight into the
limits of power.
the Opus Law Group in Seattle for real estate and in a
variety of other areas; Seattle’s Davis Wright Tremaine
for commercial transactions and China business support; and Baker & McKenzie and DLA Piper, which
concentrate on Starbucks’ international work.
FOCUS ON DIVERSITY
A diverse work force is of high importance to Starbucks and its legal chief, who said that “it starts with
ensuring that our own house is in order. Within the
law department, every member believes he or she is
part of the diversity story.” By tapping into diverse
talent pools including, but not limited to, race, sex and
ethnicity, both the firm and the individual employees
are better off, Boggs said.
Relationships with the gay, lesbian and disabled
Starbucks’ legal group also places a premium on
pro bono work, striving to maintain a reputation as
a leader in providing services to those who can’t
afford to pay. Boggs is chairwoman of Legal Aid for
ROUTE TO THE TOP
Boggs joined Starbucks in her current capacity in
September 2002. Previously, she spent five years as
a vice president at Dell Computer Corp., handling the
legal side of products, operations and information
technology systems. From 1995 to 1997, she was
a partner at Seattle’s former Preston Gates & Ellis,
now part of Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Preston Gates Ellis,
where she specialized in corporate civil litigation. She
prosecuted fraud and regulatory crime as an assistant
Born in the other Washington—the District of Columbia—Boggs is a former U.S. Army officer. She enjoys
running in her spare time and is a singer/songwriter.
She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in international
studies from The Johns Hopkins University in 1981.
She received her juris doctorate in 1984 from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, where she
was named 1998’s Recent Alumna of the Year.
A BOOK AND MOVIE
Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling
Less of More, by Chris Anderson, and Flags of Our
An earlier version of this profile appeared in The
National Law Journal on June 11, 2007.