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How to Become a General Counse

A general counsel is a top-level attorney who acts as the chief legal officer of a company or governmental office. This role involves providing expert legal advice to management and overseeing legal compliance. General counsels draft contracts for a variety of operations and oversee copyright issues. They also maintain business records and oversee compliance with legal regulations. In order to become a general counsel, you must have a law degree and ample experience. This role also requires strong communication skills and professional integrity.

The experience and training that an in-house attorney receives in a company helps him or her develop in various areas of law. In-house attorneys gain experience across a variety of industry sectors. As such, they may not focus on a single area like a firm associate. However, the practical experience gained through in-house employment may be sufficient preparation for a non-legal career, or even to make the transition back into BigLaw. To advance in this position, you must be in a senior position.

Learning agility is another important trait for legal executives. Korn Ferry describes learning agility as “the ability to apply what you learn to new situations.” This trait helps people overcome challenges and work in ambiguous situations. As a result, learning agility is highly desirable and essential for collaboration and broad-based thinking. If you think you have these characteristics, becoming a general counsel may be the right career choice for you.

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