- On April 21, 2019
The Recorder sat down with top Bay Area GCs to find out how they landed that #1 job. A distillation below:
- Impress your clients. Airbus Silicon Valley Robert Keele got the job after serving as outside counsel. (In my opinion, joining a client is the easiest way to go in-house. You know the company, and the company already knows you. No heavy sales job needed.)
- Be a service provider. Connie Chen at OpenTable credits working as a big firm lawyer for “ingrain[ing] the service provider mentality, responding quickly and getting back to people.” David Kelly, CLO of Golden State Warriors, similarly notes that clients are the show, not the lawyers. Get to know their needs, and put theirs above yours.
- Work well with others. PayPal CLO Louise Pentland observes GCs have to be good with people, collaboration, and leadership, three skills not taught in law school; so, make sure you learn those skills along the way.
- Have your own style. Salesforce GC Amy Weaver knew the typical aggressive lawyer behavior (pounding tables and yelling) wouldn’t work for her, so she didn’t follow advice to adopt that style. She says instead you should figure out your own skill and style, and make that work!
- Map out your moves to the top. Twitch GC Elizabeth Baker started as a corporate lawyer and then picked up tech trans. She advises setting an end game and taking different moves to get there.