The 5 Worst Mistakes that New GCs Make

Source: Law360

By Melissa Maleske

The first days, weeks and months in a legal department are critical: First impressions matter, and there's a lot of groundwork to do when you're settling into a new position, whether it's a supervisory or staff attorney role. Here, experts share the common mistakes that trip up new in-house attorneys.

If your demeanor or working style clashes with the rest of the company from Day One, you risk alienating the very people who are supposed to feel comfortable approaching you as a fellow corporate insider, even if the approach set you up for success elsewhere.

For instance, some companies value proactive go-getters who aren't afraid to speak their minds and act as change agents, says Mike Sachs, a partner and in-house consultant at Major Lindsey & Africa LLC who was formerly in-house at NBCUniversal Inc.

Other companies, however, might view such a manner as a bull in a china shop, preferring a lawyer who maintains a low profile.

"Companies have different cultures — and different cultures than firms — and it's probably a good idea to avoid acting the exact same way you always have before you get a sense of what it takes to succeed there," Sachs says.

Read more of this feature at Law360.

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