Look to Clean Tech for GC Jobs

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The particular kind of skill set that’s necessary for such positions, though, means that not just anyone should apply. Energy business and startup skills are highly sought after, so if you have both, you may want to check this option out.

"At a certain stage of a startup company's existence, it makes sense to bring in house some activities that were outsourced before," explained Charles Ferer, SolarCity's CFO. SolarCity is located in Foster City, California, and installs rooftop solar cells. Along with many other related markets, the market for such cells is booming.

Clean technology companies often work with energy and power plants — and that means lots of contracts. Thus, as companies grow, a general counsel is needed. For those who are looking to make money and be involved in an environmentally sound project, signing on with a clean tech company can be a great idea.

There are potential downsides, however. As with most startups, a new clean tech company will not necessarily be stable. What’s more, the chief form of payment for many such companies will be stock options, though salaries are still pretty good. If the company takes off, as a clean tech general counsel, you can cash in big time. Then again, it could crash and burn and leave you looking for work in just a few months as well.

It’s not all about the money, though. Clean tech is a new field, and one with newer legal issues as well. Expect, indeed, to see an interesting mix of issues, such as regulatory work, licensing issues, patent law, and trademark — all sorts of things.

While California is the current hotbed for these companies, Arizona and other southern locations are also a good spot.

If you have the skills, good luck getting a job in clean tech as a general counsel!

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