Features

Lauren Aach – LivePerson 

Livening up legal at LivePerson 

Artificial intelligence has arrived, and it isn’t going anywhere. It is revolutionizing all aspects of our lives in business, social and personal ways. Companies like LivePerson, enterprise leaders in digital customer conversation, drive the momentum forward.  

Lauren Aach | Deputy General Counsel | LivePerson 

Lauren Aach | Deputy General Counsel | LivePerson

So Lauren Aach says about artificial intelligence and how it stands to revolutionize a slew of industries, especially those that are technologically intense.  

Nowadays, that describes many, if not most, industries, with Aach’s employer, LivePerson, Inc., among those companies with the most potential as a game-changer. This New York City-based global tech company is best known as the enterprise leader in digital customer conversations. The Conversational Cloud is its enterprise-class digital customer conversation platform that is trusted by the world’s top brands to accelerate their contact center transformation, orchestrate conversations across channels, departments, and systems, increase agent productivity, and deliver more personalized, AI-empowered customer experiences. 

That’s bringing LivePerson deeper into AI territory and Aach, as Deputy General Counsel, feeling the need to advise her colleagues and provide the company’s customers with insights and trends about how to use AI in a responsible and trustworthy way. Well-versed as she is on the topic, Aach knows she can never know enough, but she’ll soon be among the most AI-savvy people working for LivePerson—and she’s eager to share her knowledge.  

“I try to lead by example to enable innovation at LivePerson, drive change, and empower my business stakeholders and legal team by identifying ways we can do something,” Aach says.  

When Aach spoke with Vanguard in April, she was well on her way to earning an EqualAl member badge, sponsored by LivePerson, that prepares senior executives to use AI responsibly and ethically. EqualAI has become a global platform and think tank where businesses, policymakers and tech pundits collaborate to optimize AI’s potential while working to reduce biases and create better outcomes for all.  

Lauren Aach | Deputy General Counsel | LivePerson 

Earning that badge takes some doing; Aach explained it’s been a rewarding six-month program where she and around 25 stakeholders from all shores virtually brainstorm how the AI technology can be used responsibly and what public protocols will be necessary to manage it. At LivePerson, Aach’s in-house responsibilities include playing an integral role in all global revenue transactions, overseeing legal operations, corporate governance and compliance matters, and advising on risk management and go-to-market strategy. She has to stay up to date on industry trends, compliance and regulatory obligations, and best practices, and she seems especially motivated to do her part.  

“I’m passionate about our company and mission and how we’re making it more friendly for consumers. That’s part of the reason I’ve stayed here so long,” she says. 

Going live 

LivePerson has carved out a competitive niche, opting not to focus on massive AI behemoths such as Apple, Google and Microsoft, but instead taking on a targeted role orchestrating and improving digital customer conversations. According to Aach, here’s where much opportunity exists. 

Lauren Aach | Deputy General Counsel | LivePerson 

“One of the most interesting components of working with our customer brands is that they come to us for our expertise in getting the real ROI out of AI,” she says. “They know that now is the time to get consumer-facing AI experiences right – or risk turning off their end-customers and remaining stuck in the old ways of doing things.  This is especially difficult for heavily regulated companies like banks and healthcare providers looking for help balancing compliance and innovation. Fortunately, we know how to do it.” 

Aach has learned much as she nears her 10th anniversary on the LivePerson legal staff, starting as a corporate counsel in January 2015 and ascending the ladder while the firm’s offerings progressed from chatbot to messaging to automation and AI. “A very interesting place to be on a day-to-day basis,” she says. “I’ve got to be aware of so many ways AI touches every corner of running a business.” 

Having grown up with technology aids her cause. Even in her previous roles with the mutual insurance firm Guardian Life and a one-year stint at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Aach was exploring ways for technology to do the more mundane aspects of office work.  

AI’s application varies from business to business and is used in several ways depending on each company’s respective risk tolerances, ranging from customer interactions on their website to data analytics to contract simplification, Aach says. Yet, she quickly reminds that it can’t be perceived as foolproof. 

“Human interaction is a critical component when using AI to ensure, among other things, the information AI models are trained and the information you get from AI is accurate,” Aach says. “There always can be an inherent bias for gender, race, age, ethnicity, but while there might be risks and liability, there are many important benefits.” 

As LivePerson promotes its services toward commercial clientele, Aach is at the forefront, overseeing contracting, ensuring compliance and growing her role as a leader at this publicly traded firm.  

“I like to think of myself as a business coach and advisor who believes in the power of proactive change to drive progress within the legal industry and to foster a culture of innovation and empowerment on the legal team and the larger LP community,” she says. 

It’s all part of being a deputy general counsel in an industry constantly buffeted by change. While it’s not what Aach initially envisioned as a career path, she says she’s quite happy with how it’s turned out. 

Ever analytical 

During college was when Aach envisioned herself as a journalist, and while her analytical mind might have served her well in that calling, her interests turned toward law as a 2006 New York University undergrad who spent the next few years as a paralegal at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson. In 2010, she graduated from the Seton Hall University School of Law.     

Lauren Aach | Deputy General Counsel | LivePerson 

“That was one of the worst times to be trying to find work as an attorney with debt from law school,” she recalls. “But I knew I wanted to work as an in-house attorney and to be a problem-solver who came up with creative solutions.” 

The one year at the Fed proved valuable, it being a quasi-governmental entity where veteran lawyers shared their negotiating skills with Aach. “It inspired me to want more,” she says. 

She was able to do much more at Guardian where, as one of six junior lawyers from 2011 to 2014, Aach got to weigh in on everything from small vendor deals to larger software purchases. Having made a name for herself where law and technology converge, LivePerson reached out to her. 

“A digital tech company that does both client and vendor negotiations—the best of both worlds for me,” she says. 

Those worlds will only spin faster with Aach in the prime years of her professional life. While LivePerson has been around since 1995, she says it retains the vigor of a startup with the operational protocols and processes to withstand the test of time. In January, a young but seasoned software executive, John Sabino, became CEO, coming here from a 2021-to-2024 stretch at VMware in Palo Alto, California. As Aach says, LivePerson is on the cusp of the AI revolution, and she’s more excited than ever.  

She’ll take some time off this summer for her wedding and Italian honeymoon, but upon returning stateside, it’ll be business as usual. 

“The new CEO has a clear vision and strategy for how to get us to the other side,” Aach says. “I want to be part of that journey and help catapult us to the next phase.”

Published on: May 24, 2024

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