While switching as a CLO or general counsel in a reputed company, it is not only about moving through different ranks and working in a law firm for several years and deciding to call it a day for better opportunities. Previously, some of the qualities required for the role of a GC was to exhibit confidence at work, motivation to play the role and long years of service in the legal field. However, a lot has changed during the recent decades and the role of a general counsel lawyer has loaf developed and advanced accordingly.
When you consider the current scenario, the marketplace is highly competitive and the successful GC’s have to show their skills through a broader spectrum and prove their potential to become a precious asset to the companies. Several companies have been able to make or break the long-term success story with the help of competent general counsel services.
If you are presently pursuing a key role as a GC and looking forward to add substance to it or if you are trying to become one from the general counsel services, here are a few qualities you need to possess.
1. Understanding the business
Some of the most successful GC’s have their focus on the business before going ahead with the legal tenets of the deal. The requirements of following the regulations and the disputes must be properly viewed from the standpoint of the business goals. In fact, the attorneys, trying to move from a law firm must think from the business perspective to play the role of a GC properly. It is important for these attorneys to know the business inside out as they may not have been familiar with the preferences of a business while rendering services on different issues such as litigation and acquisition.
Apart from this, you have got to ask yourself a few key questions that are related to your role. For instance, you might need to know how complying with the current regulation can meet the business needs properly, and what is the best way to meet the long and short-term goals while handling a dispute. Likewise, you must get replies to the general queries and those related to the marketplace. A major aspect of comprehending the big picture is to have a strong hold on the financial matters. While working on behalf of general counsel services India, you have to make attempts to increase the ROI when it comes to your role in the company.
2. Showing the power of judgment
While working as a general counsel attorney, you have to establish your reputation and connect or coordinate properly with the limited information you get. It is significant to allow your team to reach the final mark on the deadline without any mistakes. Basically, it is the intuition or the sixth sense of the GC that matters from the business and legal perspectives. Without adequate and proper judgment power, you cannot play the role of the GC effectively.
3. Have a modest approach
The legal aspects of the business acts as a supporting role for a business although lawyers help in taking the boat forward. However it is the GC services employed by the company that understands in depth that the business leaders may not follow the best advice that comes from the counsel when they are of the opinion that it involves risks. A GC can often disagree with the business leaders at some point or the other, but it is necessary to stay humble. While you must get into tiffs only when they are needed, you can choose to move to another company when you have issues with them constantly. Try to weigh your risk-tolerance level at first before you switch to a company that follows better business practices.
4. Assuming leadership role
While working in the role of a general counsel litigation, you must create the opportunities instead of waiting for them to arrive. Some of the duties include meeting the CEO, President or the Board of Directors whenever the situation is appropriate and making the presentations that are needed for the clients.
One of the best methods to get success with the role of a GC is to make an impact within the company and playing the role of a mentor, teacher, and motivator who can influence others. Many companies today are moving to outside general counsel services instead of relying on an in-house legal team.
5. Creating relationships
Whether it is outsourced general counsel services or otherwise, it is necessary to stay in touch with the most important people inside the company and across the industry as well. The more you know people, the better it is to leverage the role you play.
As a law firm partner trying to switch to in house legal services, you must boost the network comprising of business leaders and in-house players to get insights about your thinking and get their support when needed.
6. Managing others
A lot of GC’s may have got success without having the knowledge of managing the other professionals or delegating the tasks. However, successful GC’s must monitor the workload and the performance of the team.
7. Have substantive skills
While functioning as in-house legal services, you must broaden your knowledge base instead of getting stuck with one area of practice whether it is contract or litigation. If you want to change from your current position to the role of a GC, you have to look for the shortcomings and the gaps and fill them to fit into the role.
It is clear, the GC must play a dynamic role within the company and requires a good knowledge base to meet the business objectives.
Amy Jones is a certified legal expert by profession and she is associated with Ahlawat & Associates- one of the top legal firms in India. She loves sharing useful information about business, finance and law with needy people. Follow her on twitter