Via Transportation’s General Counsel Erin Abrams Speaks at Ropes & Gray
Lisa Bebchick (left) and Erin Abrams (right)
Concluding a month-long series of events celebrating Women’s History Month, Ropes & Gray’s Women’s Forum hosted a conversation with Erin Abrams, the general counsel of Via Transportation, a rapidly growing technology startup in the on-demand shared ride space. The discussion took place on March 29 in the firm’s New York office and was moderated by Ropes & Gray litigation & enforcement partner Lisa Bebchick, who serves as a co-chair of the Women’s Forum.
Addressing an audience of women associates at the firm, Abrams spoke about her career trajectory from white collar criminal litigator to in-house general counsel whose portfolio is considerably more expansive than litigation. As the head of the legal, risk and compliance teams at Via, Abrams oversees corporate transactions, venture-backed financing, insurance, cybersecurity and data privacy, technology licensing, commercial agreements, transportation regulatory and licensing issues, employee and independent contractor matters, and litigation.
The wide-ranging conversation covered Abrams’ decision to move into the mission-driven startup space; developing Via’s legal department as the company grew from six employees (Abrams was employee number six) to almost 600; and balancing work-life demands while maintaining a commitment to public service (Abrams has an active pro bono practice and sits on the Board of Directors of Urban Pathways, a nonprofit that provides services to homeless New Yorkers).
In the nearly five years since Abrams joined Via, the company has expanded dramatically. Since launching exclusively in Manhattan in 2014, offering service between the upper eastside and midtown, Via now operates in 62 countries and cities around the world, and is licensing its technology to an increasing number of private- and public-sector partners in the transit space.
Left to right: Ropes & Gray associates Ashley Pyon, Rebecca Cushing, Lynda Levenson; partner Lisa Bebchick; Via Transportation’s Erin Abrams; Ropes & Gray IP litigation partner Charlotte Jacobsen
Established in 1996, the Women’s Forum at Ropes & Gray plays a vital role in fulfilling the firm’s commitment to diversity and inclusion by providing a range of programs designed to foster the professional development of women attorneys at the firm and the advancement of women into senior and leadership positions. To learn more about Ropes & Gray’s Women Attorneys, click here. To read about our diversity and inclusion initiatives, click here.