The legal executive/general counsel is an attorney who offers advice on legal strategies and logistics for the company. They usually head a legal department, and that department advises and and oversees company compliance with current laws regarding labor and commercial operation. The general counsel holds an executive position within an organization; in most companies, the general counsel is part of the board that oversees company activities.
As the chief legal counselor in a business, this attorney likely spends much of his or her time reviewing relevant changes in policy and law that may be upcoming. The general counsel also represents the company and/or individual executives in any legal matters that become open to litigation. He or she advises the company on the best course of action and negotiates on its behalf. The general counsel makes decisions regarding any settlements and helps craft legal language that presents the company in the most favorable light in all legal matters.
Many companies only look for individuals with law degrees who have passed the state bar exam to fill this position. Companies also look for persons with extensive relevant business experience as well. A general counsel works in an office environment and should expect to work long hours. It is also likely that the legal executive will need to do extensive traveling as a regular part of the job.
Legal Executive /General Counsel Tasks
- Advise company's management on legal issues.
- Direct legal staff operations, business planning and budget development.
- Oversee the legal affairs of a company/division.
- Manage outside counsel.