January 28, 2022

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Some Advice From My Friend, The GC!

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, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsRecently, a good friend of mine accepted her first general counsel position — a big career change. I couldn’t be prouder of her for taking this step!

It used to be that general counsel would just run the legal departments of private or public companies, but, these days, GCs find themselves being given many more responsibilities. They often sit at the executive table, meaning they have more of a say in how to enhance the business, mitigate risks, and develop the business.

So, yeah, her becoming a GC is a big deal!

My friend will have to make a lot of adjustments as she settles into this position. As overwhelming as these new responsibilities may seem at first, here are some pieces of advice that can make the transition easier to handle.

First — and this might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised — is to become more familiar with how the company operates. GCs interact with so many different departments that they have to know how things work from top to bottom in order to make proper decisions. Learn about your company’s budget, culture, and rivals, researching the business from every angle so you know how your institution runs (and how it should run).

Of course, we learn in law school that we should never stop learning the law. As a GC, you get the opportunity to gain legal experience and skills that you wouldn’t in a general practice position, for example. Take full advantage of these opportunities and be as expansive as possible in your skill set, because you never know when you’ll need to use what you’ve learned.

Remember, as a GC you’ll not only be dealing with different departments but different people in those departments as well. Get to know your coworkers, clients, stakeholders, and everyone in between. You don’t want to come across as a standoffish lawyer; instead, people should see you as someone who knows how to navigate the internal (and external) relations of the company.

This means you’ll want to develop your soft skills, too. Sure, it’s a given that everyone must follow the company’s rules and regulations, but knowing how to find and address problems before they even become a matter of rule-breaking? Well, that can save everyone a whole lot of hassle. You need to learn to read a situation and make the best decision.

Lastly, develop a (one-, two-, or three-month) plan that incorporates all of this and discuss it with your CEO. It’s also important that you’re open to adjusting your plan to make it more effective.

You have no idea how proud I am of my friend!

What is the top skill each GC must develop?


, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsOlga V. Mack is the CEO of Parley Pro, a next-generation contract management company that has pioneered online negotiation technology. Olga embraces legal innovation and had dedicated her career to improving and shaping the future of law. She is convinced that the legal profession will emerge even stronger, more resilient, and more inclusive than before by embracing technology. Olga is also an award-winning general counsel, operations professional, startup advisor, public speaker, adjunct professor, and entrepreneur. She founded the Women Serve on Boards movement that advocates for women to participate on corporate boards of Fortune 500 companies. She authored Get on Board: Earning Your Ticket to a Corporate Board Seat and Fundamentals of Smart Contract Security. You can follow Olga on Twitter @olgavmack.

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