- On June 15, 2018
Stanford just held its 15th annual E-Commerce Best Practice Conference, where in-house leaders (from Microsoft, Sophos, Pinterest and Alation) gave their top tips on how to be a successful lawyer. The Recorder reported on the panel here, but here’s a quick summary:
- Know the business, which gives you credibility with clients ranging from engineers to product managers to execs.
- Don’t just sit at your desk. Visit all the offices. Remote ones will be especially impressed you came. By building rapport face to face, people will be more apt to listen to you in the future.
- Ask what’s broken and fix it. Don’t start meetings by asking how things are generally (people will likely say fine). if you ask what’s wrong, people will tell you, and you can improve things.
- Figure out what your audience wants and how they want it. Your board may want you to discuss data reports and have certain expectations on how you are supposed to do it, for example.
- Explain Legal’s value. If your business colleagues have no idea what concrete value you bring (e.g., $X saved, contract turnaround decreased by Y days, processes sped up by Z%, etc.), you will be discounted and your position hard to justify.