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Top 12 General Counsel Skills to Put on Your Resume

Crafting an effective resume as a General Counsel requires a strategic showcase of your legal acumen and leadership capabilities. Highlighting the top skills that demonstrate your ability to navigate complex legal landscapes and drive organizational success is crucial in distinguishing yourself in the competitive legal field.

Top 12 General Counsel Skills to Put on Your Resume

General Counsel Skills

  1. Contract Negotiation
  2. Compliance Management
  3. Litigation Strategy
  4. Intellectual Property
  5. Corporate Governance
  6. Risk Assessment
  7. Data Privacy (GDPR, CCPA)
  8. Employment Law
  9. Mergers & Acquisitions
  10. Legal Research (Westlaw, LexisNexis)
  11. Financial Acumen
  12. Board Advisory

1. Contract Negotiation

Contract negotiation refers to the process of discussing and agreeing upon the terms and conditions of a contract to ensure it aligns with the objectives and legal requirements of the parties involved. For a General Counsel, it involves scrutinizing and amending contractual clauses to protect the organization's interests, minimize legal risks, and ensure compliance with applicable laws.

Why It's Important

Contract negotiation is crucial for a General Counsel as it ensures that agreements are legally sound, align with the organization's interests, and mitigate potential risks, thereby protecting the company's assets and facilitating successful business operations.

How to Improve Contract Negotiation Skills

Improving contract negotiation involves a strategic approach focusing on preparation, clear communication, and understanding both parties' needs. Here are concise tips for a General Counsel:

  1. Preparation: Thoroughly understand your organization's goals, the contract's subject matter, and the other party's potential needs and pressure points. Harvard Law School offers insights on creating iron-clad contracts through preparation.

  2. Clear Objectives: Define clear, achievable objectives for the negotiation. Know what is non-negotiable and where there is room for compromise. The American Bar Association provides guidelines on setting objectives.

  3. Build Relationships: Establishing a good rapport with the opposite party can facilitate smoother negotiations. Forbes highlights the importance of relationship-building in negotiations.

  4. Communication Skills: Effective negotiation requires clear, assertive communication and active listening. Understand the other party's points and articulate your position without aggression. MindTools offers techniques for improving communication skills.

  5. Flexibility and Creativity: Be open to creative solutions that satisfy both parties' core interests. This might include alternative contract structures or incentives. The Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School discusses creative agreement solutions.

  6. Legal and Commercial Knowledge: Stay informed about relevant laws, industry standards, and market conditions that may affect the contract. Continuous learning platforms like Lawline provide resources for legal professionals to stay updated.

  7. Use of Technology: Leverage contract management software for better drafting, analysis, and monitoring of agreements. Capterra lists the best contract management software with reviews.

  8. Seek Expert Advice: Don't hesitate to consult with specialists, such as tax advisors or industry experts, to address specific issues in the contract. Networking in professional organizations like the Association of Corporate Counsel can be valuable for finding resources and advice.

Improving negotiation skills is an ongoing process that involves learning from each negotiation and staying updated on best practices and legal developments.

How to Display Contract Negotiation Skills on Your Resume

How to Display Contract Negotiation Skills on Your Resume

2. Compliance Management

Compliance Management is the process of ensuring that a company adheres to legal standards, regulations, and ethical practices relevant to its business operations, as overseen by the General Counsel to mitigate legal risks and maintain corporate governance.

Why It's Important

Compliance management is crucial for ensuring that an organization adheres to legal standards and regulations, mitigating legal risks, avoiding penalties, and maintaining a company’s integrity and reputation. It enables a General Counsel to proactively address compliance issues, safeguard the company’s legal and ethical standing, and ensure operational continuity.

How to Improve Compliance Management Skills

Improving compliance management involves a strategic, integrated approach that ensures an organization's policies and procedures align with legal and regulatory requirements. Here are concise steps tailored for a General Counsel:

  1. Assess Risks: Begin by conducting a comprehensive risk assessment to identify areas of potential non-compliance. This includes understanding the specific regulations that impact your organization.

  2. Develop Policies: Create clear, accessible policies and procedures that align with legal requirements. Ensure they are easily understandable to all employees.

  3. Train Employees: Implement regular training programs for employees to ensure they understand compliance requirements and their roles in maintaining them.

  4. Implement Technology: Leverage compliance management software to streamline processes, track compliance, and manage documentation. Gartner provides insights on selecting suitable technology solutions.

  5. Monitor and Audit: Regularly monitor compliance efforts and conduct audits to identify and address gaps. This includes staying updated on changes in relevant laws and regulations.

  6. Foster a Culture of Compliance: Encourage an organizational culture where compliance is valued and violations are promptly addressed. Leadership should actively support compliance efforts.

  7. Review and Improve: Continuously review and refine your compliance management program based on audit findings, regulatory changes, and business evolution.

For further guidance, the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics (SCCE) offers resources tailored to professionals managing compliance issues. Additionally, the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) provides valuable tools and networks for General Counsels seeking to enhance compliance management within their organizations.

How to Display Compliance Management Skills on Your Resume

How to Display Compliance Management Skills on Your Resume

3. Litigation Strategy

Litigation strategy refers to the planned approach and tactics a General Counsel (or legal team) employs to manage and resolve legal disputes in a manner that aligns with the organization's goals, minimizes risks, and optimizes outcomes. This involves decision-making on legal arguments, procedural maneuvers, evidence presentation, and negotiations, tailored to the specifics of the case and the judicial context.

Why It's Important

Litigation strategy is crucial for a General Counsel as it guides the legal approach to disputes, ensuring effective resource allocation, risk management, and alignment with the organization's overall goals, potentially saving time and costs while protecting the company's interests.

How to Improve Litigation Strategy Skills

Improving litigation strategy as a General Counsel involves a multifaceted approach focusing on risk assessment, resource allocation, and leveraging technology. Here's a concise guide:

  1. Early Case Assessment: Quickly analyze the merits of a case to inform decision-making. Implement a systematic approach for evaluating risks and potential outcomes early on. American Bar Association offers insights on performing early case assessments.

  2. Leverage Technology: Use legal technology tools for e-discovery, case management, and analytics to enhance efficiency and gain strategic insights. The Legal Executive Institute provides resources on emerging legal technologies.

  3. Effective Communication with External Counsel: Establish clear, concise, and continuous communication channels with your external counsel to ensure alignment on case strategy and expectations. ACC (Association of Corporate Counsel) has resources on managing external counsel.

  4. Cost Management: Implement strategies for controlling litigation costs, including alternative fee arrangements and meticulous budgeting. The Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC) offers best practices on legal operations and cost control.

  5. Continuous Learning and Adaptation: Stay informed about legal trends, case law, and regulatory changes that might affect your litigation strategy. Participate in forums like SCG Legal for global legal insights.

  6. Focus on ADR: Whenever feasible, consider Alternative Dispute Resolution methods to resolve conflicts outside the courtroom, saving time and resources. FINRA provides guidance on arbitration and mediation processes.

  7. Team Training and Development: Regularly train your legal team and external counsel on new laws, technologies, and litigation best practices. Practising Law Institute (PLI) is a valuable resource for continuing legal education.

By integrating these strategies, General Counsels can enhance their litigation approach, leading to more informed decision-making, efficient resource use, and better outcomes.

How to Display Litigation Strategy Skills on Your Resume

How to Display Litigation Strategy Skills on Your Resume

4. Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names, and images used in commerce, which are legally protected, allowing their creators to control and profit from their use.

Why It's Important

Intellectual Property (IP) is crucial as it protects a company's innovations, branding, and creative works, ensuring a competitive edge, revenue generation through licensing, and safeguarding against unauthorized use or infringement. This protection fosters an environment for continual innovation and investment in research and development, vital for a company's growth and sustainability. For a General Counsel, effectively managing IP is essential for legal compliance, minimizing litigation risks, and maximizing the company's value and market position.

How to Improve Intellectual Property Skills

Improving Intellectual Property (IP) management involves strategic planning, protection, and enforcement. Here are succinct steps for a General Counsel:

  1. Conduct an IP Audit: Regularly evaluate the company's IP assets to identify and document all intellectual property. This step helps in understanding the scope and value of the IP portfolio. World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Guide.

  2. Develop an IP Strategy: Align IP strategy with business goals. This includes deciding on which IPs to register, where to register them considering market presence, and how to leverage them for business growth. Harvard Business Review on IP Strategy.

  3. Secure IP Rights: Apply for patents, trademarks, copyrights, and designs to protect innovations, brands, and creative works. Early protection prevents potential infringements and disputes. United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) - Getting Started.

  4. Enforce IP Rights: Monitor the market for potential infringements and take action against unauthorized use of the company's IP. This could range from cease and desist letters to litigation. International Trademark Association (INTA) - Enforcement.

  5. Educate and Train Employees: Raise awareness among employees about the importance of IP and their role in protecting it. This includes understanding the risks of disclosing sensitive information and recognizing IP assets. WIPO Academy.

  6. Leverage IP Assets: Explore opportunities for monetizing IP through licensing, franchising, or selling IP rights. This can provide an additional revenue stream for the company. Licensing Executives Society International (LESI).

  7. Review and Update IP Portfolio: Regularly review the IP portfolio to ensure it remains aligned with the company’s strategic direction. Discontinue or divest from non-core or underperforming IP assets. IP Asset Management.

By following these steps, a General Counsel can significantly improve the management and value of a company's intellectual property.

How to Display Intellectual Property Skills on Your Resume

How to Display Intellectual Property Skills on Your Resume

5. Corporate Governance

Corporate governance refers to the system of rules, practices, and processes by which a company is directed and controlled. It encompasses the mechanisms through which companies, and their directors and officers, are held accountable to stakeholders, including shareholders, employees, customers, and the community. For a General Counsel, it involves ensuring legal compliance, ethical standards, and best practices in all corporate activities, while advising on legal and regulatory implications of the company’s strategic decisions.

Why It's Important

Corporate governance is crucial as it ensures a company is run ethically, transparently, and accountably, aligning with stakeholders' interests. For a General Counsel, it is vital to guide the organization in legal compliance, risk management, and maintaining its reputation, thereby protecting it from legal liabilities and enhancing its long-term sustainability and success.

How to Improve Corporate Governance Skills

Improving corporate governance involves a multifaceted approach that ensures the organization operates in a transparent, ethical, and efficient manner. For a General Counsel, this process can be streamlined by focusing on a few key areas:

  1. Ensure Compliance: Regularly update and enforce compliance policies to adhere to legal and regulatory requirements. Harvard Law School offers resources on the latest in corporate governance and compliance.

  2. Promote Transparency: Foster an environment of openness within the organization. This includes clear reporting of financial and operational activities. The OECD Guidelines on Corporate Governance provide a framework for transparency.

  3. Board Education and Evaluation: Continuously educate board members on their roles and responsibilities, and implement regular performance evaluations. The National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) offers resources and workshops for board education.

  4. Stakeholder Engagement: Actively engage with stakeholders to understand their perspectives and incorporate their feedback into governance practices. The International Finance Corporation (IFC) provides guidelines on stakeholder engagement.

  5. Ethical Culture: Cultivate an organizational culture that prioritizes ethical behavior and decision-making. Resources from the Ethics & Compliance Initiative (ECI) can guide in building an ethical culture.

By focusing on these areas, a General Counsel can significantly enhance the governance framework of their organization, ensuring it meets both internal and external standards of excellence.

How to Display Corporate Governance Skills on Your Resume

How to Display Corporate Governance Skills on Your Resume

6. Risk Assessment

Risk assessment is the process of identifying, analyzing, and evaluating potential risks to an organization’s operations, finances, or reputation to mitigate legal liabilities and ensure regulatory compliance.

Why It's Important

Risk assessment is crucial as it enables a General Counsel to proactively identify and evaluate potential legal, financial, and operational risks, allowing for the implementation of strategies to mitigate or manage those risks, thus protecting the organization from unforeseen liabilities and enhancing its decision-making process.

How to Improve Risk Assessment Skills

Improving risk assessment involves a strategic approach that combines thorough analysis, continuous monitoring, and adaptation. Here's a concise guide tailored for a General Counsel:

  1. Establish a Comprehensive Framework: Begin by developing a robust risk assessment framework that aligns with your organization's objectives and legal requirements. Utilize the COSO Framework for structure and guidance.

  2. Identify Risks: Proactively identify potential legal, compliance, financial, and operational risks. Tools like the Global Risks Report by the World Economic Forum can provide insights into global risk trends.

  3. Assess Risks: Evaluate the likelihood and impact of identified risks. Use qualitative and quantitative methods for a more precise assessment. The Risk Management Guide by AICPA offers methodologies for risk assessment.

  4. Implement Controls: Design and implement controls to mitigate identified risks. This includes legal safeguards, policies, and procedures. The ISO 31000 standard provides guidelines for risk management practices.

  5. Monitor and Review: Regularly monitor the effectiveness of controls and review the risk environment for any changes. Implement a continuous feedback loop for ongoing improvement. The Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) offers resources for monitoring activities.

  6. Educate and Train: Ensure that stakeholders are aware of the risks and understand how to mitigate them through targeted training programs. Resources like the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) provide training and education for legal professionals.

  7. Leverage Technology: Utilize risk management software and tools for efficient risk identification, assessment, and monitoring. Platforms like Gartner can offer insights into the latest technology solutions.

  8. Engage in Continuous Communication: Maintain open lines of communication with all stakeholders, including the board, employees, and external partners, to ensure risk awareness and engagement.

By systematically applying these strategies, General Counsels can significantly improve the risk assessment processes within their organizations, leading to more informed decision-making and enhanced legal compliance.

How to Display Risk Assessment Skills on Your Resume

How to Display Risk Assessment Skills on Your Resume

7. Data Privacy (GDPR, CCPA)

Data Privacy, encompassing regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), refers to the legal framework and practices designed to protect individuals' personal information from unauthorized access, use, and disclosure. GDPR, applicable in the European Union, sets stringent guidelines on data collection, processing, and protection, mandating explicit consent and rights for individuals over their data. CCPA, specific to California, grants state residents rights to access, delete, and opt-out of the sale of their personal information, imposing obligations on businesses regarding consumer data handling. Both aim to enhance personal data security and privacy, requiring organizations to implement adequate safeguards and transparent data practices.

Why It's Important

Data Privacy laws like GDPR and CCPA are crucial as they protect individuals' personal information, mitigate the risk of data breaches, ensure trust and compliance, and safeguard against legal and financial repercussions for organizations. This is essential for a General Counsel to ensure the company adheres to legal standards, avoids penalties, and maintains its reputation.

How to Improve Data Privacy (GDPR, CCPA) Skills

Improving data privacy requires a multifaceted approach, especially for organizations aiming to comply with regulations like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Here are concise steps tailored for a General Counsel:

  1. Understand the Legislation: Deeply understand GDPR (European Commission) and CCPA (State of California - Department of Justice) requirements to ensure full compliance.

  2. Data Mapping: Conduct thorough data mapping to understand what personal information is collected, stored, and processed, and for what purpose (ICO Guide).

  3. Privacy by Design: Implement Privacy by Design principles, ensuring privacy is considered at all stages of product or service development (ICO - Privacy by Design).

  4. Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIAs): Conduct DPIAs for processes that pose a high risk to individuals' rights and freedoms (European Commission - DPIAs).

  5. Policies and Procedures: Update privacy policies, procedures, and internal documents to ensure they are compliant and transparent (GDPR.eu - Privacy Policies).

  6. Data Protection Officer (DPO): Appoint a DPO if required, to oversee compliance and act as a point of contact for data protection authorities (European Commission - DPO).

  7. Employee Training: Conduct regular training for employees on data protection principles, their responsibilities, and procedures to follow in case of a data breach (ICO - Training).

  8. Data Subject Rights: Ensure mechanisms are in place to promptly address requests from individuals exercising their rights under GDPR and CCPA (ICO - Individual Rights).

  9. Vendor Management: Vet and manage third-party vendors to ensure they comply with GDPR and CCPA, including through contracts and audits (IAPP - Vendor Management).

  10. Incident Response Plan: Develop and test an incident response plan to ensure quick action in the event of a data breach (NIST - Incident Response).

By following these steps, a General Counsel can play a crucial role in enhancing an organization's data privacy practices and ensuring compliance with GDPR, CCPA, and other data protection regulations.

How to Display Data Privacy (GDPR, CCPA) Skills on Your Resume

How to Display Data Privacy (GDPR, CCPA) Skills on Your Resume

8. Employment Law

Employment law governs the rights and obligations within the employer-employee relationship, covering a wide range of issues from wages and workplace safety to discrimination and wrongful termination. For a General Counsel, it involves ensuring the company's compliance with these laws and advising on legal matters related to employment to mitigate risks and resolve disputes.

Why It's Important

Employment law is crucial as it establishes a legal framework that governs the rights and responsibilities within the employer-employee relationship. For a General Counsel, it ensures the organization complies with regulations, minimizes legal risks, promotes a fair workplace, and protects the company and its employees from potential disputes and liabilities.

How to Improve Employment Law Skills

Improving employment law requires a multifaceted approach focusing on modernization, inclusivity, and enforcement. Here's a concise guide for a General Counsel seeking to enhance employment law within their organization:

  1. Stay Informed and Compliant: Regularly update policies to reflect current laws and regulations. Utilize resources like the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for the latest guidelines.

  2. Promote Diversity and Inclusion: Implement comprehensive diversity and inclusion programs. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) offers strategies and practices to promote workplace inclusivity.

  3. Enhance Employee Training: Provide ongoing training on workplace rights, sexual harassment, and discrimination. Online platforms like LinkedIn Learning offer courses tailored for workplace compliance and ethics.

  4. Implement a Robust Reporting System: Establish clear, accessible channels for employees to report grievances without fear of retaliation. Consider third-party solutions like NAVEX Global for anonymous reporting.

  5. Regularly Review and Revise Contracts and Policies: Ensure employment contracts, handbooks, and policies are up-to-date, clear, and fair. Resources like LegalTemplates can assist in creating and reviewing these documents.

  6. Focus on Mental Health and Well-being: Integrate mental health support and flexible working arrangements into your employment policies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides valuable guidance on promoting mental health at work.

  7. Engage in Active Dialogue with Employees: Foster an open environment where employees can voice concerns and suggestions. Tools like Slack can facilitate communication and feedback.

  8. Stay Proactive with Legal Developments: Regularly consult legal advisories and participate in forums such as the American Bar Association (ABA) to stay ahead of emerging legal trends and issues.

By focusing on these areas, a General Counsel can significantly contribute to the development and improvement of employment law within their organization, fostering a fair, compliant, and inclusive workplace.

How to Display Employment Law Skills on Your Resume

How to Display Employment Law Skills on Your Resume

9. Mergers & Acquisitions

Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) is the process where companies consolidate, purchase, or sell business assets or entities to promote growth, enhance competitive position, or obtain strategic advantages. For a General Counsel, it involves legal due diligence, negotiating terms, ensuring regulatory compliance, and mitigating risks associated with these transactions.

Why It's Important

Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) are crucial for a General Counsel as they play a key role in strategic growth, risk management, and legal compliance during the process of combining or acquiring companies, ensuring the organization's legal interests are protected and regulatory obligations are met efficiently.

How to Improve Mergers & Acquisitions Skills

Improving Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) involves strategic, legal, and operational enhancements. For a General Counsel, key areas of focus include:

  1. Due Diligence Enhancement: Streamline due diligence by leveraging technology and ensuring a thorough legal review to identify potential risks early. Tools like Kira Systems and Diligent can automate and improve the efficiency of document analysis.

  2. Contract Management: Improve contract management processes by using platforms such as Icertis to organize and analyze contracts more effectively, ensuring compliance and identifying synergies.

  3. Risk Management: Develop a comprehensive risk management framework, including regulatory compliance and litigation risk. Resources like Lexology offer insights and updates on legal risks in M&A.

  4. Integration Planning: Focus on pre-merger integration planning to align business objectives, culture, and systems, minimizing disruptions. Deloitte Insights provides strategies and best practices for effective integration.

  5. Stakeholder Communication: Ensure transparent and timely communication with all stakeholders to maintain trust and manage expectations. Tools like Slack can facilitate better internal communication.

  6. Regulatory Compliance: Stay abreast of global regulatory changes affecting M&A and ensure compliance to avoid fines and delays. The M&A Leadership Council offers resources and training to keep up with regulatory trends.

  7. Negotiation Skills: Enhance negotiation skills by understanding the business and legal aspects of deals deeply. Training from institutions like Harvard Law School can be invaluable.

  8. Cross-Border Expertise: For international M&A, develop expertise in cross-border legal and regulatory issues by utilizing global legal resources like Chambers and Partners.

By focusing on these areas, a General Counsel can significantly improve the efficiency, success rate, and value generation of M&A activities.

How to Display Mergers & Acquisitions Skills on Your Resume

How to Display Mergers & Acquisitions Skills on Your Resume

Legal research tools like Westlaw and LexisNexis are comprehensive digital platforms that provide General Counsels and legal professionals with access to a vast array of legal resources. These include case law, statutes, regulations, legal journals, and more, facilitating the efficient analysis and interpretation of legal matters to support informed decision-making and strategy development.

Why It's Important

Legal research through platforms like Westlaw and LexisNexis is crucial for General Counsels as it enables them to access a comprehensive database of legal resources and precedents. This aids in providing informed legal advice, ensuring compliance with the latest laws and regulations, supporting strategic decision-making, and effectively managing legal risks for their organizations.

How to Improve Legal Research (Westlaw, LexisNexis) Skills

Improving your legal research on platforms like Westlaw and LexisNexis involves a blend of sharpening your search skills and utilizing platform-specific features efficiently. Here are concise steps to enhance your legal research:

  1. Define Your Research Goal: Clearly understand the legal issue or question you're researching. This helps in formulating effective search queries.

  2. Use Boolean Searches: Master the use of Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) to refine your searches. Both Westlaw and LexisNexis provide guides on utilizing these operators.

  3. Leverage Filters: After performing a search, use filters to narrow down your results by jurisdiction, date, topic, etc., which can significantly enhance the relevancy of your findings.

  4. Analyze Citations: Use the platforms' citation analysis tools (KeyCite on Westlaw and Shepard’s on LexisNexis) to check the validity and treatment of a case or statute.

  5. Utilize Practice Areas: Both platforms have resources organized by practice areas. Start your research within these specialized sections to access the most pertinent materials quickly.

  6. Access Secondary Sources: Don’t overlook secondary sources like treatises, law reviews, and practice guides available on Westlaw and LexisNexis. They can provide valuable insights and explanations.

  7. Take Advantage of Training: Both platforms offer tutorials and training sessions. Utilizing these resources can significantly enhance your research skills. Explore Westlaw Training and LexisNexis University.

  8. Experiment with Natural Language Searches: When Boolean searches are too restrictive, try natural language searches to see if they yield better results for your query.

  9. Save Searches and Alerts: Use the feature to save your search queries or set up alerts for new developments in specific legal areas, ensuring you stay updated with minimal effort.

  10. Ask for Help: Both platforms have customer support and live chat options. If you're stuck, don't hesitate to reach out for assistance.

By integrating these strategies, General Counsels can significantly enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of their legal research on Westlaw and LexisNexis.

How to Display Legal Research (Westlaw, LexisNexis) Skills on Your Resume

How to Display Legal Research (Westlaw, LexisNexis) Skills on Your Resume

11. Financial Acumen

Financial acumen, in the context of a General Counsel, refers to the ability to understand and apply financial principles, analysis, and insights to legal advice and decision-making, ensuring legal strategies align with and support the financial goals and health of the organization.

Why It's Important

Financial acumen is crucial for a General Counsel as it enables effective risk management, strategic decision-making, and compliance oversight by understanding the financial implications of legal actions and the economic context of business operations.

How to Improve Financial Acumen Skills

Improving financial acumen, especially for a General Counsel, involves understanding financial statements, key financial ratios, and how legal decisions impact a company's financial health. Focus on:

  1. Learning Financial Basics: Start with understanding the three main financial statements: the balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement. Khan Academy offers simple, straightforward tutorials.

  2. Understanding Financial Ratios and Metrics: Grasp the significance of key metrics such as ROI (Return on Investment), EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization), and EPS (Earnings Per Share). The Corporate Finance Institute provides a good primer.

  3. Enhancing Business and Financial Strategy Knowledge: Develop a strategic mindset by understanding how business decisions affect financial outcomes. Harvard Business Review is a resourceful site for articles on finance strategy relevant to high-level executives.

  4. Engaging in Financial Training and Courses: Consider enrolling in executive education programs or courses that focus on finance for non-finance managers. Coursera and edX offer courses designed for executives to build financial acumen.

  5. Applying Knowledge to Legal Context: Specifically for General Counsels, it’s crucial to understand how legal strategy and compliance issues can impact financial performance. The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) has resources and networks to help bridge the gap between legal and financial understanding.

  6. Networking with Finance Professionals: Building relationships with professionals in finance can provide real-world insights and learning opportunities. LinkedIn is a valuable tool for connecting with finance experts and joining finance-related groups.

By focusing on these areas, a General Counsel can significantly enhance their financial acumen, allowing them to contribute more effectively to their company's financial strategy and decision-making processes.

How to Display Financial Acumen Skills on Your Resume

How to Display Financial Acumen Skills on Your Resume

12. Board Advisory

Board Advisory refers to the process where a General Counsel provides strategic legal and policy advice to a company's board of directors, ensuring compliance with laws and regulations, and guiding on risk management and corporate governance.

Why It's Important

Board Advisory is crucial for a General Counsel as it ensures legal compliance and risk mitigation, provides strategic guidance on governance matters, and supports informed decision-making, enhancing the organization's integrity and reputation.

How to Improve Board Advisory Skills

Improving Board Advisory, particularly for a General Counsel, involves enhancing communication, legal insight, and strategic thinking. Here are concise steps:

  1. Enhance Legal Acumen: Stay updated on relevant laws and regulations to provide proactive legal advice. Thomson Reuters offers resources for legal professionals to stay informed.

  2. Strengthen Communication Skills: Communicate complex legal concepts in an understandable manner. Harvard Business Review has articles on effective executive communication.

  3. Develop Strategic Thinking: Understand business goals and align legal advice to facilitate these objectives. McKinsey & Company provides insights on improving strategic thinking.

  4. Foster Relationships with Board Members: Build trust and credibility through regular engagement and by being a solution-oriented advisor. Forbes discusses strategies for building strong business relationships.

  5. Leverage Technology: Use legal tech tools for efficient board management and decision-making support. Clio explores legal technology trends.

  6. Engage in Continuous Learning: Attend workshops, webinars, and conferences to stay ahead in governance best practices. The National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) offers resources and events for board members.

By focusing on these areas, a General Counsel can significantly improve their effectiveness in advising the board, ensuring both legal compliance and strategic alignment with business goals.

How to Display Board Advisory Skills on Your Resume

How to Display Board Advisory Skills on Your Resume