General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer, Cultivation Capital
Michelle Myers quickly learned in law school that her interests would lead her down a much different career path than that of the traditional route followed by many of her peers.
“I was really drawn to the transactional part of law,” said Myers, who earned a JD from Saint Louis University School of Law in 2014. “I took a lot of the technical courses . . . I realized quickly litigation was not for me, but I loved drafting contracts and things like that.”
As she neared graduation, Myers worked at the school’s entrepreneurship and community development clinic.
“I thought that was an amazing experience, just getting to be the lead student attorney in cases like that. That really drove home for me that that was the area I wanted to work in after law school,” she said.
Myers worked for about a year as a program manager at SixThirty FinTech Accelerator. In April 2016, she joined Cultivation Capital, a venture capital firm investing in early-stage tech companies.
“I was really excited about what this firm was doing, and I could see how I would fit in with my legal skills and my interest in working with business owners. I applied to work there in a non-legal role — operations. They called me and said, ‘This role doesn’t apply to you at all, but we have a place for you,’” Myers said of her first interaction with the firm, which opened in 2012.
She became the company’s director of operations and held that position for just shy of four years.
“It was so different from what my friends were doing, taking a more traditional path. So this was a jump . . . I was nervous, but I was excited and it did seem like a risk at the time.”
Now as the company’s general counsel and chief compliance officer, Myers leads legal and regulatory compliance activities across Cultivation Capital’s operations. She is actively involved with structuring, negotiating and executing the firm’s venture investments in the United States and abroad. She also manages many of the firm’s day-to-day global operations, including fund structuring, policy development and regulatory compliance.
“Michelle is a rising star who has demonstratively proven her leadership skills at Cultivation Capital, where the firm carved out an in-house general counsel position for her,” her nominator wrote.
Through her time at Cultivation Capital, the company has built up enough volume and she was able to learn enough about its processes to take on the role of in-house counsel.
“In a lot of ways, we were just a small business ourselves, a growing company,” Myers said.
She said she finds it interesting to learn about new technologies developed by the companies with which Cultivation Capital works, noting that those day-to-day encounters would have been less likely in a legal role elsewhere. That’s why she advises young lawyers to keep an open mind about career opportunities.
“I would just tell people that it’s okay to take risks with your career. I think that’s really hard when you are younger because you want to fit in and do what everyone else is doing.”
When she’s not at work, Myers is perfecting the interior design of the house she and her husband just purchased. The couple is expecting their first child in November.