- are current on politics and its implications for what your business does and for what it plans to do, and can do the same for its funders, customers, suppliers, staff and regulators too;
- have all your contracts, records, licences, filings current, structured and findable;
- have the key principles and dates of the strategic agreements and the standard issue documents to hand or in your head;
- understand your peers, their drivers, their motivations; their challenges;
- can keep calm, un-political, dispassionate and solutions oriented;
- can keep in mind the tactical and the longer term needs and help to keep the balance between;
- can keep your calm and help others to do so too as they rebuild their plans again and again;
- can negotiate for the long term but leave flexibility to exit early if need be;
- can do this while keeping your team happy and motivated and your budget explicitly tied to what is happening not a fixed number - but use if efficiently;
- can fill the working minute with 60 seconds worth of properly prioritised legal work provided;
- can do all these things and still stay happy, healthy and motivated....
then you will be a great in-house lawyer (especially in present times) my friend!
(with apologies to Rudyard Kipling - whose poem If (written parent to son) is rather better and still, mostly, applicable to in house lawyers www.kiplingsociety.co.uk/poems_if.htm)