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Alumni Spotlight - Joan Archer

Joan Archer is an alumna of Husch Blackwell's Kansas City office.

Joan Archer
General Counsel
Farmobile, LLC

What is your history with Husch Blackwell?

I came to Husch Blackwell because of the industry focus and the opportunities it afforded me. Ultimately, I was able to become a more focused food, ag and animal health attorney, which I greatly appreciated.

Describe your current role/practice outside of Husch Blackwell.

As first counsel and general counsel at Farmobile, my responsibilities range from agreement drafting to training on intellectual property (IP) issues, managing our IP portfolio, handling the legal side of COVID-19, data privacy, and providing advice on how to evaluate and address potential risks for the company.

Describe any interesting and emerging trends you’re seeing in your industry.

For those of us in agriculture, there is an increasing focus on sustainability as well as environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, which will drive a lot of the new ag technologies. Climate change and data privacy are also on everyone’s mind. Our product is right at the center of all of this because we collect the farm data that’s needed for verification for a carbon market program.

On the general legal side, there is an increasing number of software options for us to use for contract drafting, contract management and eDiscovery. Trying to determine which options might be most useful is almost overwhelming. I receive more inquiries from software companies than law firms looking to solicit work!

What is one of the most interesting projects on which you’ve worked?

Working to improve the customer contracting system has been interesting and challenging because we have such a diverse nature of customers. We market directly to farmers and growers and also focus on ag retailers and other business partners. We are always trying to think of a better, simpler way, and it’s difficult when you’re dealing with issues of data ownership, data privacy, hardware device, product issues, etc. It’s challenging to marry all of that and simplify it without requiring massive lawyer review, which can slow us down.

What hobbies/activities do you enjoy outside the office?

My dogs (and cats). Right now I’m working on training our COVID Corgi puppy named Juniper. I also loved taking care of my daughter during the pandemic, but now she’s finally back at her college in California. Wine, books and travel are also on the list of hobbies. My travels in the past year have taken me to Canada, California, Walt Disney World, Universal Studios Florida, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia and Lake of the Ozarks, and I’ve also road tripped to the Texas Hill Country. My daughter will be studying in Edinburgh next semester and I look forward to some European travel in the spring.

Any words of wisdom?

Working from home can be very isolating, so it’s even more important to stay in contact with the firm's clients. Any outside contact takes on a greater level of appreciation than it did when we all were in our offices. My philosophy is that you can’t win if you don’t enter. Don’t be afraid to reach out and stay in touch.

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