5 Top Skills for Successful In-House Attorneys

By Casey C. Sullivan, Esq. on March 31, 2016 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A good in-house attorney is a generalist, able to move from complex compliance issues to corporate strategizing to internal H.R. disputes and back again. But being a jack of all trades shouldn't make you a master of none.

There are plenty of skills in-house counsel need to master in order to succeed. With that in mind, here are our top corporate counsel skill posts, from the FindLaw archives.

1. Who Is the Ideal In-House Attorney?

The ideal in-house attorney needs a broad understanding of the law and a deep understanding of the business. But don't overlook the importance of people skills as well. The best in-house lawyers are able to work smoothly with non-lawyers from all levels of the company. If you can master all three areas, you might be the perfect corporate counsel.

2. Strategy, Succession, Security: Lessons From a C-Suite Survey

A survey of directors, board chairs, and CEOs shows the changing nature of the general counsel in corporations today. More and more, the GC is being viewed as a key member of the executive team, which means that strategic thinking, coupled with pragmatic advice, is becoming even more important to GC success.

3. Drafting Assistant Finds Precedent for You, Clause-by-Clause

Another essential in-house counsel characteristic: confidence. Thankfully, there are research tools out there to help you be sure in your work. Drafting Assistant is just one example. A research and productivity solution, it helps you to make sure your work meets industry standards, clause-by-clause.

4. Tips for Drafting an International Arbitration Clause

If your business crosses borders, you're probably familiar with international arbitration agreements, also known as IAAs or "arbs." They're an important level of protection when making international deals and drafting them well is a key skill. These tips should help.

5. In-House, Don't Over-Lawyer Everything and Listen

In the corporate world, lawyers are known as the people who say "no." But that doesn't have to be your role. Skilled in-house attorneys can protect the company from legal risk while also helping company heads meet their goals.

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