- On September 21, 2018
A good title is important to lawyers. Your title signals your level both internally and externally. Your title can also affect what job you will next be considered for.
What are typical titles? Law firm titles are pretty lock step (Associate, Counsel, Partner), but you may have room to negotiate your in-house title, especially at a small company. Typical ones in-house are (from junior to senior): Associate Counsel (rare), Counsel, Senior Counsel, Assistant General Counsel (rare), Associate General Counsel, Deputy General Counsel, General Counsel, and Chief Legal Officer.
A few strategies when negotiating your title:
- Review what other people in Legal and teams you support are called, and ask for something commensurate.
- If everyone in Legal has a similar flat title, you could ask for an external facing title of Legal Director.
- If you can’t get the standard title you want, ask for the title “Head of” (e.g., employment, commercial, etc.).
- Give the business rationale that you need the appropriate title to signal that you are the one responsible for your area so when you dealing with third parties, they won’t want to escalate/go around you.