It is not uncommon for attorneys that end up in-house to have taken a somewhat winding road.
Nick Hendon’s road from central Illinois to his position as Deputy General Counsel and Vice President, Epoxy of Olin Corporation has some prominent twists and turns.
Hendon attended Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, where his studies were decidedly not legal in nature. He received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics and computer science, minoring in physics and economics, and graduated summa cum laude.
After graduating, Hendon went into computer programming. He worked for Anheuser-Busch as a systems analyst and Deere & Company as an information technology analyst before realizing that, unlike others in his profession, he wasn’t passionate about computers.
“I just felt like there was a different set of opportunities,” he said. “Like it was going to be more interesting.”
Hendon graduated from Saint Louis University in 2006 with both his law degree, and a master’s of business administration.
Once out of law school, Hendon joined Husch Blackwell’s St. Louis office as a corporate associate. He specialized in securities, mergers and acquisitions, general corporate law, and commercial contracting. Hendon represented American Airlines on one of the largest aircraft purchases in history, estimated to be worth $38 billon.
While at Husch, Hendon did some securities work for Olin Corporation, and eventually went in-house.
“I always thought working in a company, or for a company, in some respect was what the goal was,” Hendon said.
Hendon says he likes being involved in projects from the beginning, shaping ideas and being able to have more of a business focus, as opposed to just being involved in the implementation of an idea.
The job has also turned Hendon into an international attorney. When Olin merged with a subsidiary of the Dow Chemical Co., it essentially tripled in size overnight. Olin has employees in 22 countries, and there are legal matters that have to be addressed across the globe.
“It has been quite a challenge, but I think we’ve been successful,” he said.
Hendon’s work abroad landed him on Olin’s International Council, which exists to make sure the American company is integrating with its new foreign counterparts.
Despite still being as challenging and demanding a position as working in a firm, Hendon said that being a corporate counsel is more consistent, which has helped his work-life balance. He and his wife, Erin, recently welcomed their second child.