I retired from Sabre Corporation in November 2014 as General Counsel, Corporate Secretary, and Chief Compliance Officer. It was a great ride but it became clear to me that I was ready to give something new a try. Shortly after I left Sabre I was speaking at a legal conference in Dallas and was chatting with a couple of the attendees after my presentation. They asked me a pretty simple question: What do you need to do to become general counsel? I thought about for a minute and then listed off several things that I had done and thought were important on my way up the legal department ladder beginning some 20+ years ago as a first-level in-house attorney at American Airlines. As I answered the question, I had a thought: Maybe I should be writing some of this stuff down! And that was the beginning of this blog where basically I just try to write down lessons learned (hard ones and easy ones) over my 20 years as in-house counsel.
When I started the blog back near the end of November 2014, I wasn’t sure if anyone would read it, let alone care if I wrote a second one. So, a big thanks to my wife for being the first person to “follow” the blog and actually encourage me to write a second one (which has allowed me to prove to my mom that I have not become a “shiftless hobo”). And thanks to all of you who have taken the time to click on Follow, regularly read the email updates I send out, follow me on Twitter, or send me comments, questions, encouragement (?) and ideas for future posts. I am now up to my 19th posting and there is no real end in sight. More than a few “lessons learned” to write about down the road!
As I look back on some of the early posts, a few things stick out – I jam a lot more words into each new post (though I do try to have a hard stop at 3000 words or less) and I have slowly – very slowly – gotten better at the technical end of the blogging thing. I know I have a lot to learn on that end, including the need to create a better index of the posts that appears on the right side panel. I am pretty sure I’ll figure it out as we go along but for now I thought I’d just create a simple index of everything up to now. This is not, however, some cheap way to “re-run” a bunch of old posts so I can be extra lazy this week and not actually write a substantive article. Rather… Um, okay. Busted. That is part of it. But I will have a new post up next week (discussing website user agreements).
Since I have already written way more than I thought I would for what is supposed to be just a list, I’ll stop and get to it. Here in chronological order from past to most current is “Ten Things You Need to Know as In-House Counsel”:
- Introduction (November 26, 2014)
- How to be a Successful In-House Counsel (November 28, 2014)
- All I Want for Christmas is a FCPA/Anti-Bribery Health Check (December 4, 2014)
- Time for a Conversation About Drafting Documents and Emails (December 10, 2014)
- Your Company Has Just Been Sued. Now What? (December 18, 2014)
- Help Your Client Get Their Contract Through Legal Quickly (December 23, 2014)
- Setting Goals for the Legal Department (January 7, 2015)
- Simple Ways to Retain and Reward Your People (January 14, 2015)
- Effectively Managing Outside Counsel Spend (January 22, 2015)
- Running an Effective Staff Meeting (January 30, 2015)
- Increasing Efficiency in the Legal Department Through Technology (February 6, 2015)
- How to Run a Government Affairs Campaign (February 17, 2015)
- Crisis Preparation 101 (March 3, 2015)
- Trade Secrets and Protecting Your Company (March 19, 2015)
- Partnering with HR (1 + 1 = 3) (April 2, 2015)
- Trade Associations and Legal Risk (April 16, 2015)
- Data Privacy -The Essentials – (April 30, 2015)
- Protecting Your Company’s Reputation and Brand (May 15, 2015)
That’s it for now (only 771 words!). There are some really interesting topics to come over the course of the year so thanks for sticking with me. If you don’t already, click “follow” in the upper right hand corner and get the latest posts sent to you directly as soon as they appear on the site. If you think of someone who might find this blog useful or interesting, please forward it to them and be sure to Tweet it also. And, as always, feel free to drop me a note or ask a question. Thanks!
May 27, 2015
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(“Ten Things” is not legal advice or legal opinion. It is intended to provide practical tips and references to the busy in-house practitioner and other readers.)