So you want to be General Counsel...


I've had many clients trying to make the leap from senior in-house counsel to general counsel. But that leap into your very first general counsel position isn't always easy. InsideCounsel’s SuperConference offered some advice for lawyers aspiring to their first GC position in “Master Class: Becoming General Counsel and What to Expect in the First Year,” with panelists Mark Roellig, GC of MassMutual; Steve Bene, GC of Pandora; Maria Green, GC of Illinois Tool Works; and moderator Paul Williams, a partner at the legal recruiting firm Major, Lindsey & Africa (and also a former GC). Zach Warren reported on the panel. Some of their advice on making a successful transition, whether you're promoted within the company or hired from outside included:

  • Understand the business model.

  • Get to know the management.

  • Learn to manage people.

Don't wait until after you get into your first GC role to incorporate this advice. Instead, use this advice to prepare for that role. Gain experience in similar business models. Start managing people now. And research the heck out of your target company before you interview. You'll want to demonstrate you've learned about their business, management goals, and people in the early stages of the placement process so that you can demonstrate it in your cover letter and interview, and demonstrate compatible values in your resume and LinkedIn profile.

Read more at “Master Class: Becoming General Counsel and What to Expect in the First Year.