A general counsel is often not engaged by a law firm, but rather by a company. The general counsel typically answers directly to the CEO and is in charge of the company’s legal advice, compliance reporting, and legal documentation. He or she frequently oversees a group of staff lawyers. The general counsel salary might just be what you need. Read this article for more information.
Those who hold general counsel positions frequently have the following employment responsibilities:
- Specify and supervise legal procedures and standards for all corporate divisions, ensuring compliance with all applicable compliance rules, labor laws, tax laws, etc.
- Overseeing and managing legal work done by in-house counsel or outside law firms hired by the company to handle legal tasks
- Prepare legal documents and arguments in connection with lawsuits brought against a business or for lawsuits a business is bringing against another business or person.
- From a legal standpoint, establish strategies and carry out objectives.
- Aid in the creation of workflows for recruiting compliance, risk management, and intellectual property protection
How the Job Goes
A general counsel is employed by a business or corporation to supervise all legal compliance, paperwork, and actions on the company’s behalf. The general counsel typically serves primarily in a managerial capacity, offering direction, strategy, and oversight than carrying out particular legal tasks. The general counsel typically oversees a group of attorneys, who may be either business employees or hired consultants from a vendor legal firm.
Assuring the company’s legal compliance is the general counsel’s main objective. As a result, the general counsel frequently reports directly to the CEO of the business because it necessitates oversight of almost all firm functions. The general counsel collaborates with the HR department to guarantee adherence to employment rules and regulations, the IT department to ensure data security and compliance, and the accounting department to assure adherence to tax laws.
From a legal standpoint, the general counsel establishes the company’s strategy and goals and helps put new workflows, rules, and procedures into place. The general counsel’s job is complicated and calls for a high level of knowledge, good judgment, and managerial abilities. In rare circumstances, the general counsel can be required to make suggestions to a board of directors in order to get their permission or encourage acceptance of plans and ideas.
Regular Work Hours
The majority of general counsels have full-time jobs that they perform during regular business hours. However, due to the extensive obligations of this position, overtime may be frequent, and late or weekend labor may be necessary to complete paperwork, record tactics, or prepare presentations.
General counsels are frequently used by businesses to provide legal advice, but larger organizations are more likely to do so than mid-sized and smaller ones, which are more likely to use contracted lawyers. Additionally, general counsel-managed staff attorneys are more frequently employed and relied upon in highly regulated sectors like healthcare, finance, and manufacturing.
The Path To General Counsel
Getting a bachelor’s degree is the initial requirement to become a general counsel. A bachelor’s degree in business or business administration is the ideal choice for aspirants to the position of general counsel, while your undergraduate major is adaptable for other fields of legal practice. Focusing your undergraduate courses on studying basic business and management principles is a wonderful strategy to get ready for a career as a general counsel because working as a general counsel involves expertise in both law and management.
You must enroll in law school after earning your bachelor’s degree. You will switch from studying business to studying law at law school, learning the fundamentals of being an attorney and functioning in the legal system. The majority of law school programs last three years and award a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree. For you to be able to practice law after graduating from law school, you must pass the bar exam in at least one state—ideally the one where you intend to work.
From there, obtaining experience and moving up the corporate ladder are required to become a general counsel. Some lawyers begin their careers in entry-level legal jobs at large corporations, while others begin their careers in private practice and transition into corporate lawyer positions later in their careers. No matter which route you choose, you’ll need a lot of legal experience before you can apply for general counsel roles. It also helps if you have expertise leading a team of attorneys as a firm partner or chief counselor.
General Counsel Pay Information
The information below will help you learn more about this profession. The average salary per year is $136,260 while the average salary per hour is $66.
How does General Counsel salary compare to those of other positions?
The average yearly compensation for general counsels in the United States is $136,260, or $66 per hour, according to the most recent data on employment. At the low end, individuals can earn $76,300, or $37 per hour, possibly when they are just starting out or depending on the state they reside in.
How has the job growth for General Counsel compared to other positions?
For a total of 822,500 people employed in the career nationwide by 2024, 43,800 jobs will change. This represents a 5.6% change in growth over the following 10 years, giving the career an above-average growth rate nationally.