Some of the skills we found on general counsel resumes included "legal advice," "privacy," and "intellectual property." We have detailed the most important general counsel responsibilities below. The most important skills for a general counsel to have in this position are analytical skills. In this excerpt that we gathered from a general counsel resume, you'll understand why: "lawyers help their clients resolve problems and issues" According to resumes we found, analytical skills can be used by a general counsel in order to "provide direction and analysis to business units on international law requirements. " Another commonly found skill for being able to perform general counsel duties is the following: interpersonal skills. According to a general counsel resume, "lawyers must win the respect and confidence of their clients by building a trusting relationship so that clients feel comfortable enough to share personal information related to their case." Check out this example of how general counsels use interpersonal skills: "demonstrated effective interpersonal skills through working closely with office of general counsel and administrative appeals judges. " Problem-solving skills is also an important skill for general counsels to have. This example of how general counsels use this skill comes from a general counsel resume, "lawyers must separate their emotions and prejudice from their clients’ problems and objectively evaluate the relevant applicable information" Read this excerpt from a resume to understand how vital it is to their everyday roles and responsibilities, "collaborated across various business units to identify needs and formulate solutions that met and exceeded expectations. " A thorough review of lots of resumes revealed to us that "research skills" is important to completing general counsel responsibilities. This resume example shows just one way general counsels use this skill: "lawyers need to be able to find those laws and regulations which apply to a specific matter, in order to provide the appropriate legal advice for their clients." Here's an example of how this skill is used from a resume that represents typical general counsel tasks: "research various legal topics and draft memos for counsel and business units. " Yet another important skill that a general counsel must demonstrate is "speaking skills." Lawyers must be able to clearly present and explain their case to arbitrators, mediators, opposing parties, judges, or juries, because they are speaking on behalf of their clients. This is clearly demonstrated in this example from a general counsel who stated: "coordinate with business units to ensure projects with highest priority are addressed. " Another skill commonly found on general counsel resumes is "writing skills." This description of the skill was found on several general counsel resumes: "lawyers need to be precise and specific when preparing documents, such as wills, trusts, and powers of attorney." Here's an example from a resume of how this skill could fit into the day-to-day general counsel responsibilities: "conduct high-level underwriting and due diligence on distressed loan portfolios, potential real estate targets and secured financing opportunities. "
See the full list of general counsel skills.
Before becoming a general counsel, 44.5% earned their bachelor's degree. When it comes down to graduating with a master's degree, 7.8% general counsels went for the extra education. If you're wanting to pursue this career, it may be impossible to be successful with a high school degree. In fact, most general counsels have a college degree. But about one out of every ten general counsels didn't attend college at all.
The general counsels who went onto college to earn a more in-depth education generally studied law and political science, while a small population of general counsels studied business and legal research and advanced professional studies.
Once you're ready to become a general counsel, you should explore the companies that typically hire general counsels. According to general counsel resumes that we searched through, general counsels are hired the most by PricewaterhouseCoopers, The Aerospace, and U.S. Bank. Currently, PricewaterhouseCoopers has 14 general counsel job openings, while there are 4 at The Aerospace and 4 at U.S. Bank.
If you're interested in companies where general counsels make the most money, you'll want to apply for positions at Edward Jones, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Danaher. We found that at Edward Jones, the average general counsel salary is $217,291. Whereas at PricewaterhouseCoopers, general counsels earn roughly $189,135. And at Danaher, they make an average salary of $187,130.
View more details on general counsel salaries across the United States.
Some other companies you might be interested in as a general counsel include Citi, JPMorgan Chase, and Bank of America. These three companies were found to hire the most general counsels from the top 100 U.S. educational institutions.
For the most part, general counsels make their living in the non profits and education industries. General counsels tend to make the most in the technology industry with an average salary of $127,397. The general counsel annual salary in the manufacturing and telecommunication industries generally make $117,304 and $108,632 respectively. Additionally, general counsels who work in the technology industry make 71.2% more than general counsels in the government Industry.