Sager Speaker Series Hosts Marilyn T. McClure-Demers, Vice President and Associate General Counsel at Nationwide

On November 3, Wake Forest Law students gathered for the second Sager Speaker Series honored guest: Marilyn T. McClure-Demers.

The Sager Speaker Series is named for Wake Forest alumnus Thomas Sager (JD ’76), former vice president and general counsel for DuPont Co. and current partner at Ballard Spahr LLP. Sager was a strong and early proponent of diversity in the legal profession and helped pioneer the DuPont Convergence and Law Firm Partnering Program, or DuPont Legal Model. This industry benchmark has received national acclaim for its innovative approach to practicing law.

Marilyn McClure-Demers is the Vice President and Associate General Counsel at Nationwide. She is responsible for strategic legal leadership of employment, corporate, intellectual property, class action, and financial services litigation. She is also responsible for the corporate e-discovery management center of excellence. In addition, she has led various teams supporting all the business units within Nationwide’s Property and Casualty and Financial Services Enterprise.


Over the hour-long event, McClure-Demers advised Wake Forest Law students in many aspects of the legal profession. She offered insight that only someone with an expansive career and wide-ranging experience could share. She spoke candidly about the challenges she has faced, her emotions, and her passion for the law she has carried throughout her career.


“Real meaningful work is what you make it,” said McClure-Demers to a packed audience of Wake Forest Law students when asked about her earliest career advances.


She spent her early career working on cases she was most passionate about. After graduating from the West Virginia School of Law, she hit the ground running by crossing picket lines and creating common ground between unions and companies. McClure-Demers stressed the importance of taking risks and jumping head-first into opportunities as they arise.


Professor Omari Scott-Simmons, the host of the Sager Speaker Series, asked McClure-Demers to expand on risks and advice she had for Wake Forest Law students.


“You can’t give your all or be your best if you can’t take care of yourself,” said McClure-Demers. “You have to learn how to set boundaries for yourself with clients, employers, and colleagues.”


McClure-Demers told students that she found herself at her best and worst points in her career based on the boundaries she set for herself. She described how she went from having the RiteAid company as a client to RiteAid asking her to become an in-house counsel. McClure-Demers gave up a partnership at her law firm to become an in-house counselor based on her desire to move into a new career that allowed her to achieve better work-life balance.


Previously, the Sager Speaker Series hosted Keir D. Gumbs, Chief Legal Officer at Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc., on September 29. The Spring 2023 Sager Speaker Series guests will be announced in the new year.