General Counsel Job Description
Intro Paragraph: The first information to provide in your job description is an overall summary of the position and your company. This sets the stage for what the job entails and whether the person reading the ad might be interested and would make a good fit.
You could try something like:
We are hiring a knowledgeable and conscientious general counsel to lead the day-to-day legalities of our [specific type of] business. The ideal candidate will have experience reviewing and creating various legal documents — such as copyright and trademark applications, client and employee contracts, and real estate agreements — as well as overseeing lawsuits, company mergers and acquisitions, and other legal matters.
About Our Organization: Next, share what’s awesome about working for your organization. Include what makes your business a great place to work, such as information about your company culture, values, and mission.
For example, perhaps one of your company values is to foster an educated workforce; therefore, you provide ample training and professional development opportunities. Maybe your team embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and has created a dedicated employee resource group (ERG) that regularly encourages employee engagement and provides support. Candidates today, especially Millennials and Gen Z, enjoy working for companies that prioritize diversity and a healthy company culture.
General Counsel Job Responsibilities: Next, list the main responsibilities you expect the employee to do daily. The requirements you set for the position will vary depending on your company structure and legal needs, but these common general counsel duties should get you started:
- Provide legal counsel and guidance to leadership staff for a variety of legal matters, such as copyright infringement, real estate transactions, liability and insurance issues, and employee rights.
- Oversee all in-house legal documentation and communication, such as compliance training, contracts, and employee safety regulations.
- Anticipate and advise on legal issues as they arise, such as with copyright infringements, public relations risk, and financial obligations.
- Stay up to date on local, state, and federal law as it pertains to our business and industry.
- Draft, communicate, and oversee the compliance of legal review and documentation procedures.
- Assemble a network of outside counsel, attorneys, and paralegals for additional insight and litigation support.
Work Hours and Benefits: Your general counsel job description needs information about the hours your employees are required to work. Include whether you’re hiring for a full- or part-time position and if it’s a standard 9 am to 5 pm. This is also a great place to mention if you offer a flexible work schedule, among other benefits and perks.
Candidates want to know that if they work for your company, they will be rewarded for their efforts. List your offerings that will help candidates get excited about working for you, such as:
- Comprehensive healthcare
- Life insurance
- Paid time off
- Tuition assistance
You might also need to disclose the salary range, depending on the state in which your business operates. Considering that general counsel jobs are typically highly paid, it’s information you might want to include regardless.
General Counsel Qualifications and Skills: The typical general counsel qualifications and skills listed on job descriptions include:
- Strong intrapersonal, negotiation, and communications skills.
- Able to train employees in legal requirements, contract law, and legal research.
- Comfortable anticipating legal risk and making high-stakes decisions.
- High level of business ethics and problem-solving capability.
- In-depth knowledge of the laws and legal limitations applicable to the [specify] industry.
- Experience navigating the judicial system within a network of local and regional resources.
- Demonstrated ability to create and manage legal documentation, procedures, and litigation.
Education and Experience Requirements:
- Juris Doctor degree from an accredited law school
- 3 years’ practice with an established law firm
- 5 years’ experience as a general counsel or a similar role
Call to Action: No general counsel job description is complete without a clear call to action, such as “apply now” or “learn more.” You want candidates to understand what the next steps are, so they don’t forget to apply.
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