Leading an in-house legal function is a multi-skilled, multi-disciplined role.To help you stay aware of all the challenges it presents, it can help to keep a checklist of everything you need to think about. This article, which leads into our subsequent piece, "70 questions to keep you on top of your game", sets out the big issues.
70 questions to put you on top of your game
There’s no one-size fits all checklist for the role of in-house lawyer. The role varies enormously depending on factors such as:
- The industry sector your employer operates in;
- Which jurisdictions it operates in;
- How many sites it has;
- How large your team is;
- How senior you are; and
- How much developmental work your team needs.
However, it can help to break your role down, establish the key priorities and create a plan to achieve the goals most important to your organisation in general and your job description in particular.
And to help you do this, we’ve created our list of 70 questions to put you on top of your game.
They may not all be relevant to you now, but as you develop and progress in your organisation, you may find them helpful as you seek to cover all the bases in what can be a very wide-ranging role. For example, we look at elements of in-house legal work such as:
- Creating a strategy for your department in line with the wider organisational goals;
- Building a team culture that empowers people to grow;
- Agreeing your own career progression with senior management;
- Creating processes for recruitment and staff appraisal;
- Agreeing escalation policies with business unit heads;
- Preparing whistleblowing policies;
- Understanding cultural and legal norms in multiple territories;
- Setting and managing your departmental budgets;
- Establishing ways to share and archive information and knowledge with colleagues;
- Creating a litigation management policy;
- Creating a crisis management policy;
- Developing a communications plan to demonstrate to all employees what your department does for the organisation; and
- Much more besides.
The questions will help you think about the main aspects of the role and plan ahead for any that may come into your remit in the future. They’ll also help you evaluate any potential new role you may wish to apply for and give you a tool to help you decide if it’s right for you. They’ll also help you demonstrate your awareness of the big issues faced by senior in-house lawyers and position you as a serious candidate at job interviews or in meetings with your colleagues at the top table.
We’ve provided links to other relevant articles across this site to give you deeper insights into many of the issues our questions raise.
We recommend bookmarking the page and checking back regularly as, if you can answer yes to these questions, you’ll be on top of your game.
See the 70 questions here.
Get on top of your brief and stay there. Think strategy, team leadership and business outcomes. Always look to know what’s round the next corner from a legal perspective – and have your processes ready to meet all types of challenge.