Becoming a Counsel General

Becoming a Counsel General is a long term commitment and a challenge full of obstacles. Working in-house or becoming a legal advisor of a firm – whatever you choose, takes beforehand planning and experienced as well as improved transactional abilities.

If you are interested and want to promote growth in your legal career by becoming a counsel general, look for amazing job offers in the industry and be updated about developments. Improve your legal knowledge and authority, update your business skills and choose your career wisely. Narrow down your research and decide on fewer choices.

The Job Scenario

In today’s competition in the business market, if you want to be a counsel general, you must have excellent business skills and legal knowledge. You should have clear understanding of the company you will be working with and the industry which it is serving. Besides these, you must have many strong personal traits and qualifications needed to stay strong willed to pursue this post.

General counsels have to be armed with so many qualities as companies are expecting much more from them the job position of the legal counsel has improved tremendously over the last ten years, counsel generals get very well paid and competition is at its peak.

Now, general counsellor position job has shifted to business type partnership job from being simply a legal advisor’s job. Today, a legal counsel is responsible for many more aspects of the firm he/he is in partnership with like crisis management, financial management and legal understanding and taking care of the company’s position in the market.

Most business companies want their legal advisor to be their advisor in legal matters and solve their practical legal problems for the growth of the business. It’s a mutual benefit exchange offer.


To become a general counsel, you must have 5 to 8 years of experience in a private law firm. After this you can take up a position in-house or work hard to level up in the legal industry to become a counsel general. It’s a very tough job. Transactional experience is a necessity plus you can and should gain some experience in litigation and employment law.

You must have a great business oriented mind set. Even if you don’t have to be educated in business formally, it’s always great if you are.

If you do not have a business degree, get one. Get educated in basic business skills and procedures. Develop a good business sense and the tricks of the trade. Communication, leadership, organizational and management skills are unsaid necessities.

You can’t think of jobs of such profiles without these qualities. You must have an extended understanding and a clear idea about a large variety of legal matters like finance, property, employment and corporate governance and commercial matters like compliance, contracts and employment and intellectual property.

You should be able to manage disposals, mergers and acquisitions properly. You have to know how to manage with whatever is available. This is the most important task of a counsel general.

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Skills Needed for Legal Transcription Vs Medical Transcription Vs General

Legal, medical and general transcription all require typing and grammar skills. The methods used in medical transcription and legal transcription are similar but the content, terminology and industry formats are different.

In addition to the skills needed for any type of transcription, the legal and medical industries require specialized knowledge such as legal and medical terminology.

Legal transcriptionists need to understand legal terminology and use it correctly. Although no formal training is required to become a legal transcriptionist, specialized knowledge is needed. That’s why prior experience in the legal field, any knowledge of law, legal terminology and legal documents or specialized training will work in your favor to get legal transcription jobs. In addition to keyboarding speed and accuracy, some companies are looking for college or vocation degrees.

Medical transcription involves medical terms such as name of drugs, diseases, disorders and organ parts. When the transcriber makes mistakes, it may affect the health of the patient. Medical transcriptionists may have science and medically related degrees including nursing, psychology, physical therapy, pharmacy and biology. If you don’t have a medical background, you will typically have to take a specialized medical transcription course. Employers may screen applicants for their knowledge of medical terms through tests.

General transcription is easier to get into. You won’t typically encounter many medical or legal terms unless you are targeting medical, legal or insurance industries and some specialized academic fields. Topics will vary widely so you can’t learn any specialized terms unless you’re focusing on one particular industry. General knowledge and research skills will make the job of a general transcriptionist easier.

The main requirements for general transcription work are fast and accurate typing and good English and spelling skills. Because general transcription doesn’t require medical or legal terminology training or certification, it’s easier to get started in general transcription.

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Hiring a General Counsel

The economy, globalization, mergers, compliance concerns and business competition have all influenced the way the general counsel legal function is seen and used. Today, CEOs are looking to their general counsel as both business and legal advisors who must consider all of the issues that a company faces. In addition to being a strategic business partner and a legal advisor, the general counsel must also lead, organize, manage, train, and educate.

The increased complexity of the general counsel role has made filling these vacancies more challenging than ever. Even the most experienced CEOs and human resource professionals can find it difficult to effectively assess candidates and identify the more subtle skills required for this position. Here are five suggestions for companies to consider when hiring a general counsel:

1. Look Inside First

The most effective way to replace a departing general counsel is to elevate a candidate from a company’s existing legal department. Increasingly, general counsels are becoming responsible for creating succession plans, serving as mentors and developing internal talent. These efforts often result in strong internal candidates being available for the general counsel position.

While internal candidates should be a part of every company’s long-term succession planning process, not every company can support this type of activity. This process typically requires that a company already have a general counsel in place, as well as enough internal attorneys with the experience and competencies required to develop as general counsel candidates. In other words, succession planning works best in larger legal departments. Where a company seeks its first general counsel or does not have the bandwidth to grow internal candidates, outside recruiting becomes the obvious method of sourcing general counsel candidates.

2. Prioritize Core Competencies

The greatest barrier to successfully hiring a general counsel comes from improper management of expectations. In general, companies that are looking to hire their first general counsel tend to look for the “perfect” candidate rather than the “right” candidate. While these two categories do not have to be mutually exclusive, the approach used for each can yield very different results. The real problem lies in burdening the “perfect” candidate description with a slate of requirements that are generally unnecessary and unrealistic, rather than identifying and prioritizing core competencies required for the role as they relate specifically to the company.

Most companies would be thrilled to hire the general counsel of a major public company with all of the sophistication and hauteur that someone in this position would bring. However, not only is this exclusive candidate pool extremely small, but also most companies don’t have the wherewithal to recruit these types of candidates. Most importantly, the great majority of companies don’t need a general counsel from this candidate pool. The biggest challenge facing these recruiting companies is to set appropriate requirements and expectations for its general counsel candidates. While these requirements can be exacting, decision makers need to be realistic about identifying competencies that are truly important and relevant to the role in their company.

Being realistic at the outset of the search, and setting meaningful priorities and requirements will result in generating a strong pool of candidates from which one candidate will make an excellent fit. Companies who stay focused on long wish lists will not only narrow the candidate pool unnecessarily, but will also risk keeping a critical position open for several month, or make a hire who seems perfect on paper but who will fail because of cultural fit issues.

Some of the competencies that companies should consider when searching for a general counsel include:

* Combining strong technical skills, sharp intellect, and experience to resolve difficult, complex legal and business problems.

* Being able to effectively manage diverse personalities and relationships, internally and externally.

* Thinking outside of the box, and being able to come up with new and creative ideas in business and legal matters.

* Leading others by communicating a compelling vision that moves individuals, teams, and the organization to perform at a higher level and embrace change.

* Seeing the trees in the forest and being able to focus on critical tasks that add value.

* Communicating effectively at all levels of the organization, in written and verbal communication.

* Delegating by making individuals accountable, providing feedback, as well as recruiting, mentoring, and growing talent for current and future roles.

To meet the needs of a changing function, companies have to focus on lawyers who are flexible, who offer a broad base of practice, and who want to contribute through productive collaboration. Strong business judgment and the ability to impart immediate trust and legitimacy are also very important qualities. Finally, a general counsel must know how to deliver a message to people at all levels of the company, must be proactive, possess a strong level of self-awareness, and be driven.

3. Be Ready To Invest

In conducting a general counsel search, your organization needs to be ready to invest financially, as well as in terms of time and effort. Since the general counsel will act as the trusted advisor to the CEO, the process will be more successful if those conducting the search involve the CEO early and often. Rather than only including the CEO in the initial meeting or on the review of the final candidate(s), the CEO should be regularly included in each step of the process.

To recruit the best, even in a down economy, companies also need to be willing to invest financially. While general counsels make transitions for a variety of reasons that are not always financially related, high performers are usually looking for comparable if not better compensation packages than what is being offered by their current company. Today’s general counsels are compensated at levels similar to other members of the senior management team. It is not unusual for a general counsel to be one of the top five most highly compensated company executives.

What do the general counsels at the nation’s top companies earn? According to a 2009 Corporate Counsel survey, general counsels at Fortune 500 companies make:

* An average salary of $596,393

* An average bonus of $1.16 million

* An average stock award of $1.1M

* An average option award of $669,719

Given the high compensation lawyers at the general counsel level command, it is important for management to accept that it will need to offer a highly competitive compensation package to attract top talent. Compensation is even more of a factor if the company is in a troubled situation or has other challenges attracting candidates, such as geographical location, specialty area, etc.

4. Think Outside the Box

Companies that can establish disciplined yet flexible guidelines will be able to recruit outstanding candidate quickly and effectively. Technical skills, good business judgment, management skills, and fit with the organization are all critical. That said, there are certain areas where a company can show some flexibility and still be able to recruit excellent candidates without having to “settle.”

While companies tend to prefer to hire general counsels that come from their specific industry, some flexibility in this area can be afforded without having to compromise on competencies. If candidates in a company’s primary industry are in short supply, it may be appropriate to look to related industries for prospects. For instance, if a company is highly regulated, candidates from other highly regulated sectors can bring the type of experience a company would benefit from. Conversely, there can also be crossovers between industries that are not highly regulated, such as the consumer or industrial sector. While this might not apply to companies in certain industries that require industry-specific experience because of the specific regulatory nature or the complexity of the sector, such as healthcare or financial services, most other companies can benefit from considering candidates in crossover industries.

5. Consider Professionals

Today’s general counsel is a critical member of a corporation’s senior leadership – an accomplished legal professional who will be required to provide top-flight legal and business advice. Evaluating and quantifying the skills required when assessing candidates for general counsel positions can be challenging, even for the most experienced CEOs. Conducting a search for a general counsel is not only complex and challenging, but it is also a time consuming and costly process that a company cannot afford to miss. As a result, an increasing number of companies are turning to professional legal recruiting firms to fill their general counsel positions.

Legal recruiting firms can advise companies on the type of person and salary required to attract top talent, as well as devise strategies to recruit the right individual in accordance with the company’s needs and requirements. Professional legal recruiting firms maintain a constant stream of qualified candidates and potential job seekers. They are intimately connected with the legal community in both law firms and corporations. As a result, they can offer companies the type of qualified candidates they would not be able to find on their own through online or newspaper ads, alumni associations, applicant databases, job boards or other familiar sources of people. Most legal recruiters are also former attorneys. As a result, these legal recruiters tend to be better positioned than laypersons to evaluate another attorney’s skills and aptitude, and identify “great” from merely “good” attorneys. In other words, legal recruiting firms are designed to deliver faster and better results, saving a company both time and money.

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Boating Accidents – Statistics and Legal Rights Info

Most boating accidents can be cured by wearing good quality life preservers. That’s the biggest takeaway I can provide you with. If you intend to go out on a boat make sure you have vests and other PFD’s (personal flotation devices) available.

But let’s say you took that precaution, and even other precautions recommended to you during your boating safety training. Despite all of your preparation you still incurred an injury or got into an accident while in the water. What do you do now?

This article is here to share some of the most common statistics regarding boating accidents to help make you an informed boater. In addition, it is going to analyze what you can do from a legal perspective to make sure you are properly compensated for the negligence or incompetence of an outside party that damaged your property or caused injury to you or your loved ones.

Boating Statistics:

When trying to frame the circumstances of your accident, it might help to know some of the common statistics involved in boating accidents every year.

On average, there are appx 700 reported boating deaths every year in the United States. Furthermore, there are appx 4,500 accidents reported every year. Interestingly, it is believed that only 10-15% of all incidences are properly filed.

Property damage involved with these events is disproportionately large when compared to more common land accidents. In 2008 there was an estimated $54 million dollars in damage across the country. For some more interested stats, consider those compiled on

” * Over two-thirds of all fatal boating accident victims drowned, and of those, ninety (90) percent were not wearing a life jacket.

* Only ten percent of deaths occurred on boats where the operator had received boating safety instruction.

* Seven out of every ten boaters who drowned were using boats less than 21 feet in length.

* Careless/reckless operation, operator inattention, no proper lookout, operator inexperience and passenger/skier behavior rank as the top five primary contributing factors in accidents.

* Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents; it was listed as the leading factor in 17% of the deaths.

* The most common types of vessels involved in reported accidents were open motorboats (43%), personal watercraft (23%), and cabin motorboats (15%).”

Types of Boating Accidents:

It was touched upon in the statistics section, but let’s list some of the most common types of accidents to determine if your situation falls into one of these criteria.

* Boat Collision. Quite simply this entails two or more boats striking each other. However, collision can happen in a variety of places, including crowded docks, narrow passageways, and on the open sea.

* Object Collision. Similar to boat collisions but with objects either at dock or in the open water. Object collision can be the fault of the boat operator, or can be caused by negligent/inappropriate placement objects by other boaters or water officials. Examples include loose buoyees, inner tubes, boat parts, etc.

* Water Skier/Tuber Incident. Water skiing can be extremely exhilarating, but it also has inherent risks. If you went on a skiing or tubing trip and you believe injury occurred due to faulty equipment or driver negligence, you may have a case.

* Driver Error. Many accidents occur due to negligence, intoxication, or lack of education of the boat driver.

* Boat Capsizing/Equipment Failure. A surprisingly small number of accidents occur as a result of equipment failure. However, negligence and lack of proper preparation can cause this to be an issue.

* Cruise Liner Incident. Cruise liners offer a whole different set of circumstances than normal watercraft. All manner of injuries can be sustained on a cruise liner, and if you believe it was caused by the crew or poor conditions, you may be able to pursue the situation legally.

* General Intoxication. Whether it be via the driver, passengers, crew, or whatever, intoxication is a leading cause of drowning and injury on boats.

Filing a Boating Accident Report

Something that goes hand-in-hand with boating accidents is the BAR, or boating accident report. Most boaters are made aware of the federal and state rules regarding accident filing when going through boater safety training. However, when an accident occurs that you believe might require legal involvement, it is important to understand the rules more thoroughly.

According to, a BAR must be filed when:

“1. A person dies; or

2. A person is injured and requires medical treatment beyond first aid, i.e. treatment at a medical facility or by a medical professional other than at the accident scene; or

3. Damage to vessels and other property totals $2,000 or more or there is a complete loss of any vessel; or

4. A person disappears from the vessel under circumstances that indicate death or injury.

If you experience a boating accident where one or more of these criteria have been met, you must file a BAR within 48 hours if:

1. A person dies within 24 hours of the occurrence; or

2. A person requires medical treatment beyond first aid; or

3. A person disappears from the vessel.

You have 10 days to file a BAR if the damage only involves the vessel and/or property. Be aware that these are the minimum requirements for federal regulation of BARs and individual states may have stricter reporting requirements.”

Seeking Legal Compensation

Some accidents are quite simple and only involve you as the boater or passenger. However, if it involves multiple parties or a need for compensation from an external source, it is important to get in contact with a professional boating accident attorney even before you start this process. They will be able to give you proper advice and keep you from sabotaging your own case.

Be sure to find an attorney who is not only skilled at boating accident cases in general, but who is also an expert at your states specific rules. The stringency of boating law varies from state to state and it is critical to make sure you are doing everything you can to prove you were not at fault, or even partially responsible for the incident.

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