Article

What does a Legal Counsel do?

Learn all about Legal Counsel duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Legal Counsel.

Photo of Brenna Goyette
Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 3 min read

A legal counsel is responsible for providing legal advice to their clients. They may work in a variety of settings, such as law firms, corporations, or government agencies. Their duties may include researching and writing legal briefs, negotiating settlements, and representing their clients in court.

Legal Counsel job duties include:

  • Advise clients on business and legal transactions
  • Negotiate and draft contracts
  • Conduct research and analysis on legal issues
  • Advise clients on compliance with laws and regulations
  • Represent clients in court or before regulatory agencies
  • Prepare and file legal documents
  • Manage cases and legal files
  • Supervise junior lawyers and support staff
  • Keep up to date with developments in the law

Legal Counsel Job Requirements

A Legal Counsel typically needs a Juris Doctor degree from an accredited law school and must be licensed to practice law in the state where they work. Many employers also prefer candidates who have experience working in the legal field, although this is not always required. Some employers may also require that candidates have experience working with the specific type of law that their company specializes in. For example, a company that primarily deals with environmental law may prefer to hire a Legal Counsel who has experience working with environmental law.

Legal Counsel Skills

  • Analytical skills
  • Communication skills
  • Research skills
  • Writing skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Time management skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Negotiation skills
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Creative thinking skills
  • People skills

Related: Top Legal Counsel Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Legal Counsel

There are many different types of lawyers, and each type has its own set of skills and knowledge. To become a legal counsel, one must first complete an accredited law school program and pass the bar exam. After becoming a licensed attorney, many legal counsels complete a clerkship with a judge or work as an associate at a law firm to gain experience. Some legal counsels may also choose to specialize in a certain area of law, such as environmental law or tax law.

Most legal counsels work in private law firms, either as partners or associates. In order to be successful in this career, it is important to have strong research, writing, and analytical skills. Legal counsels must be able to effectively communicate with clients and other attorneys. They must also be able to work long hours, as many cases can take months or even years to resolve.

If you are interested in becoming a legal counsel, it is important to start by completing an accredited law school program and passing the bar exam. Once you have become a licensed attorney, consider completing a clerkship with a judge or working as an associate at a law firm to gain experience. You may also want to specialize in a certain area of law. With hard work and dedication, you can be successful in this rewarding career.

Related: Legal Counsel Resume Example

Related: Legal Counsel Interview Questions (With Example Answers)