One major advantage of a GC position is that, during the declining economy, staff counsel positions remain more stable, especially since organizations are relying more on their in-house to perform functions they would usually send to outside counsel.
In addition, the reporting requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and legal documentation required for loans have made the role of GC even more valued during these economic conditions.
In recent years, the role of general counsel has seen a shift from being reactive to forces outside the organization to being proactive within the organization, according to an interview with Keith McDole, former Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Occidental Chemical Corporation. General Counsel must not only understand the nuances of the organization’s business, but also he or she must be proactive in providing guidance on a variety of business and ethical conduct issues, in addition to counseling senior management on legal matters. Given all of the expectations and responsibilities of the GC role, it’s apparent why the compensation for the position remains high.
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