There is nothing traditional about Alisa De Dominicis’s legal journey, and unified support services company Rimini Street, Inc. has found a way to maximize the unconventional path of its vice president of global legal and ethics and compliance operations to the fullest extent.
The Boston native—who describes herself as “barely five feet tall, pretty direct, and not prone to sugarcoating the truth”—wasn’t an attorney who always knew it was her calling. But since finding her way to Rimini Street, Inc. in 2021, she’s built out a role that unites her technology, legal, and operations experience. She’s helping Rimini Street, Inc. drive ahead, all without the aid of a chief legal officer at present.
De Dominicis’s journey is one that proves no matter how many left turns one might encounter, there’s always a way to reconcile those experiences with the right amount of curiosity and tenacity. She’s currently doing the best work of her career; it just took a little searching.
In her former career, De Dominicis rolled out tech integrations for the Massachusetts trial court systems in both IT and project management roles. Meanwhile, she was also an adjunct professor at Boston University, teaching in the legal studies program.
“I remember a woman came up to me and told me she was going to miss class, because she was taking the LSAT,” De Dominicis remembers. “I didn’t even know what the LSATs were. And to be honest, I figured if she could do it, I could, too. I was teaching the class!”
De Dominicis was right, but the road wasn’t so easy. She began attending night school but tired of her work for the state. Halfway through, she decided to go into the private sector for Boston Consulting Group.
“It was a complete career one-eighty,” she admits. “I wondered if I should just stop going to law school. I just didn’t think I could make it work with my new job. It was hell, but, somehow, I got through it.”
De Dominicis would stay at BCG for nearly sixteen years, working through a number of promotions. Despite passing the bar, she never made the leap over to the legal side of the business, but she did accrue incredible project management and IT experience, travel the world a couple times over, and get a better understanding of what she wanted from her career.
After a series of “traditional” roles, De Dominicis was ready for something outside the norm. That’s when the opportunity at Rimini Street, Inc. appeared.
The Perfect Fit for a New Need
“This is a relatively young tech company that is a sweet spot for all of my skills,” De Dominicis says. “I’m working out of a legal department in a business operations role for a tech company. This could not be a better fit.”
It’s not just the role but the feeling De Dominicis gets from working at Rimini Street. There’s a “David and Goliath” vibe the lawyer picked up on her very first day that meshes with her Boston underdog spirit.
She came to the organization in the middle of what was, unfortunately, a failing contract lifecycle management (CLM) implementation. De Dominicis knew she was hired with the intention to rectify the situation, but she wasn’t sure if the organization was ready for what that actually meant.
“When you factor in the current economy and our current priorities, I started exploring the idea of whether or not it might make the most sense for us to leverage pieces of the best-in-class systems we already have inside the company,” De Dominicis explains. “We’re not convinced an end-to-end CLM system is right for us at this time, but it also doesn’t mean we’re ruling it out.”
At the same time, Rimini Street’s legal department is rethinking its roles and looking to hand more of its busy work downstream. De Dominicis says the legal team has rewritten all its job descriptions and created new ones to ensure tasks that paralegals and other legal staff can handle aren’t being laid on attorneys who could be focusing on higher-level work.
“I think it’s a great way to ensure retention,” De Dominicis says. “When you get the opportunity to do more challenging work and have more responsibility, you just get more from your career.”
There’s one fact that is predominantly clear about De Dominicis: she really doesn’t need—or want—the credit. She just wants results. Whether it’s helping her colleagues prep slides for a presentation or consulting with stakeholders before a meeting, the lawyer just wants everyone involved to do their best, because she knows it means fewer issues will arise down the line.
“I think our CEO [Seth Ravin] will tell you that right now, things are running smoothly in legal, because Alisa makes sure of it,” De Dominicis confides. “I don’t need that, but I appreciate it.”