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Since coming to General Motors in 2019, Brittany Mouzourakis has played a key role in several successful class action and commercial cases. Mouzourakis credits that success to her ability to embody the company’s “one team” corporate value in every interaction she has.
“On a day-to-day basis, I try to embody the idea that we’re all working for one team,” shares Mouzourakis, complex litigation counsel. “So, we don’t just say, ‘This issue falls with a different group, so that group needs to get it done.’ It’s a mentality that we all need to work together, we all need to step up to the plate to work collaboratively for enterprise-wide results. That’s what makes a successful litigator.”
That mentality is evident in the lawyer’s leadership approach. Mouzourakis sets the tone for those she works with by rolling up her sleeves and showcasing the characteristics she wants them to have. This approach has not only resulted in stronger relationships with her colleagues but also allowed her to work on a variety of cases and to feed her love for learning.
“What’s interesting about class action work is that it can touch on various legal issues,” Mouzourakis says. Her work can touch on data, privacy, environmental, and consumer issues, requiring her to constantly delve into various sectors of both business and law. “That’s been a highlight for me because it is interesting to learn about different areas of the law and to be able to pivot. It’s a great skill to have, especially as an in-house lawyer. You need to be willing and able to learn new skills in order to be successful.”
Mouzourakis didn’t have any lawyers in her immediate family and wasn’t exposed to many legal professionals growing up, but she always knew she wanted to be one. She believes it stems from her early interests in civics and government, where she noticed many senators and presidents had law degrees. She wanted to make her mark on the world, which meant she needed one, too.
After getting an undergraduate degree from Central Michigan University and a law degree from Pennsylvania State University, Mouzourakis gained her earliest legal experiences as a judicial law clerk at the US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. Her two years there taught her how to both think deeply about legal issues and write clearly and concisely. She also learned what “good lawyering” looked like.
“I was on the other side of the bench, so I was able to see great lawyering and to learn from practitioners who would appear before the court,” she says. “During my clerkship, I worked on a number of trials and watched countless proceedings.”
In 2016, she stepped into a litigation associate role at Dykema, eager to begin her law practice. She took on every assignment, always raised her hand, and never denied an opportunity. At Dykema, Mouzourakis got a chance to do work in the automotive industry, primarily on class action defense. Those experiences were a natural steppingstone for Mouzourakis to one day work at GM.
“In private practice, I wanted to learn and wanted every opportunity that came towards me. I spent a lot of hours and years working and learning how to be a better lawyer and advocate,” Mouzourakis reflects. “I didn’t always know I wanted to go in-house, but around my fifth year, I was open to it if the right opportunity presented itself. I thought that it could be interesting to transition and work exclusively for one client versus what I was doing at the firm.”
So far, her role at GM has provided the change she was looking for. In addition to her work with the complex litigation group, Mouzourakis has enjoyed her involvement in GM Women+, an employee resource group that offers a space for women to collaborate and form connections over an array of programing. She’s taken on increased leadership roles with GM Women+ throughout her time in the company.
Through GM Women+, Mouzourakis has met women in the group who have served as mentors and given her guidance at GM. “It’s an important space because it’s a way for women to come together, network, and to talk about issues” she says.
During her tenure at the company, she became a mother after having her son in the spring. She shares advice for how other full-time working moms can balance work and life. “Try to manage your time as best and efficiently as you can so that you can continue your professional success but also dedicate your time to your family,” Mouzourakis emphasizes. “It’s about time management, and you have to be more dialed into preparing for and mapping out the week. But you can balance family and work if you really take the time to plan things out.”