Month: December 2015

Ten Things: Best Legal Blogs for In-House Counsel (2015)

First, I want to wish everyone all the best for the holiday season and for a safe and prosperous 2016.  Second, I thought I would keep this edition of “Ten Things” on the lighter side and, hopefully, on the less wordy side too — especially after last week’s missive on becoming general counsel.   Back when I was general counsel I once told my team that if you send me something I will read it, pretty much no matter what.  I am not sure if that is a positive or a negative but it certainly kept me informed about what was going on in Legal and around the company.  I’m not saying that everyone needs to have the same approach I have to reading things.  In fact, sometimes it’s nice if someone can point out things worth reading (vs. having to dig them out yourself).   That’s my plan for this post.

Over the course of the last several years, legal blogs have exploded.  There are probably several blogs for just about any topic of law you are interested in.  Blogs can be very helpful tools for in-house counsel (or any lawyer for that matter), in particular for finding answers to legal questions quickly or for staying on top of new issues.  Over time, I have identified a number of blogs that I like to read regularly and that I think are particularly well written and useful to in-house counsel.  While I certainly hope that my blog fits this bill for you, I know there are many very talented legal writers out there, covering really interesting topics.  This edition of “Ten Things” will list some of my favorite legal blogs (and the topics they cover).  I highly encourage you to check these out over the next several weeks and if any interest you, follow them regularly. Or just keep the list handy in case you need it later down the road.  So, and not in any particular order, here are my top ten legal blogs for in-house counsel (2015 edition):

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Ten Things: Becoming General Counsel

The first substantive post I wrote for this blog in November 2014 was titled “How to be a Successful In-House Lawyer.”  Over the past 12 months I have heard from a number of you with a slightly different question: how do you become general counsel?  In particular, what skills should someone develop if they have their eyes on the big chair?  As we come to the end of 2015, I thought this would be an excellent topic to write about.  If you already are general counsel, congratulations!  Hopefully the points in this post ring true to you.  If you aspire to become general counsel (or are looking for an upgrade), now is the perfect time to start thinking about your game plan for 2016 and beyond both in terms of developing needed skills and ensuring you are on the “radar” of the right people.  If you are outside counsel, you can use these points to help your inside client attain their goals.

I was fortunate enough to have been the general counsel of two companies.  While each company required different skills for both the legal department generally and for the general counsel seat specifically, there was also a lot of overlap.  I suspect the overlapping parts I experienced are the same for most companies.  I also believe that the core skills needed for the position – including operational and strategic excellence – are the same here in the U.S. and across the globe.  This edition of “Ten Things” will set out some of the things you will need to think about, know, or master on your path to becoming general counsel:

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