Corporate CounselJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends
Attorneys who serve as corporate counsel work for a single business or corporation, advising the company on legal matters and providing legal protection. A corporate counsel works in and out of the courtroom on a wide range of legal matters. This includes drafting and negotiating employee contracts, filing government reports, drafting and reviewing legal documents, and reviewing and creating employee handbooks. Corporate attorneys also review partnerships between their company and vendors, subcontractors, and partners.
It’s important for a corporate counsel to not only have an in-depth knowledge of business law, but also a background in the industry in which their company operates.
Sample job description #1
ABC Company has an Associate Corporate Counsel position available in the Charlotte, NC office. This position has visibility and interaction with senior management and offers career advancement.
Working with business leaders and corporate staff to articulate risks and benefits of legal strategy
Developing strategies for, managing, and resolving a wide variety of investigations, litigation and pre-litigation disputes
Providing strategic litigation advice to the business
Helping lines of business develop and implement processes, procedures, and systems to promote risk avoidance and prevent litigation
Coordinating with outside counsel to assure they represent the company’s best interest
Work closely with other departments within the company on various issues.
Must be licensed in North Carolina
Excellent written and verbal communication.
3+ years of litigation experience.
Experience in Bankruptcy and Replevins a plus.
Sample job description #2
Provide legal support on a wide range of corporate matters, reporting to the Company’s Associate General Counsel – Corporate. Responsibilities include supporting the company’s corporate governance function and public company securities law requirements, providing assistance for M&A and financing transactions, reviewing, and negotiating various transactional documents and providing thoughtful legal counsel on a multitude of Company-related business issues.
Essential duties and responsibilities
Assist with corporate governance and the corporate secretary function
Draft board and committee materials
Draft resolutions, consents, governing documents, certificates, and minutes
Draft portions of and assist with SEC filings, including proxy, registration statements and Section 16 filings
Draft and maintain governance-related policies and procedures
Maintain corporate calendar
Assist with insider trading compliance program oversight
Assist with M&A and securities offerings
Provide legal counsel and guidance to managers, business leaders and sales professionals relating to the Company’s business activities
Appropriately identify and analyze legal issues with an understanding of how to appropriately balance risk and the Company’s ability to pursue its business interests
Develop and conduct legal trainings on various legal topics relevant to risk management
Respond promptly to the business while delivering efficient and high-quality legal service
Flexibility to work on a wide range of projects and with those at various levels within the organization
Juris Doctorate (JD) from ABA accredited university, membership in good standing of State Bar
4+ years legal experience with an emphasis in securities, M&A and corporate law
The position requires excellent organization, prioritization and multitasking skills, practical and effective problem-solving skills, strong analytical, negotiation, and communication skills, and the ability to exercise sound judgment, commercially focused legal advice and appropriately consider risks to the Company. Exceptional attention to detail is also critical for this role. Candidate must be able to interact effectively and collaboratively with the Company’s executives, professionals, staff and other employees, as well as with legal colleagues within the same department and globally, and outside counsel
It is also very important that the candidate works well independently and within a team environment, both in person and virtually
Sample job description #3
Acts as a legal advisor to assigned internal clients (including the range of company businesses and functions) Identifies legal risk and recommends solutions that help address the client’s objectives. Represents company in transactions, interactions or disputes with customers, suppliers, partners, and competitors. Balances the business interests of client groups with ultimate fiduciary responsibility to company. Represents the company before industry policy setting organizations, government agencies and other regulatory bodies.
Provides legal expertise to support client decisions in a sub-region and/or business unit or function
Develops risk profiles addressing complex commercial or specialty law
Promotes legal awareness and leads legal training activities for clients
Identifies, analyzes and resolves complex legal issues
Concurrently works on multiple legal issues and projects for various client organizations
Education and experience required
Advanced university degree in law (e.g. JD or LLB)
Meets local legal license requirements
Typically 4-6 years commercial legal experience at a law firm or in-house
Well developed level of business experience supporting clients or advising on specialty law matters
Knowledge and skills
Well developed breadth of practical legal and business knowledge, as well as in-depth knowledge in one or more practice areas
Good knowledge of company policies and procedures
Well-developed competence and experience in negotiating or advising on legal and business matters, or focused competency in particular practice areas
Able to translate complex legal or factual issues into plain language communications
English language skills to business standard preferred
Average salary and compensation
The average salary for a corporate counsel is $160,000 in the United States. Position salary will vary based on experience, education, company size, industry, and market.
Los Angeles, California
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
New York City, New York
Sample interview questions
Describe your current position.
What motivates you?
What is a specific professional achievement of yours?
How would you describe your ideal work environment?
What is a specific goal you’re currently working towards?
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
What are your favorite aspects of the legal profession?
How would you describe your leadership skills?
How do you keep up with current events?
Why do you want to move in-house?
What did you like least about your last position?
What are your greatest strengths as a lawyer?
Can you tell me about a difficult situation you faced professionally and how you approached it?
What appeals to you about being a legal counsel for us?
Can you share a time when you guided or mentored a colleague?
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