with Phillip Hunter, in-house legal consultant at Naiman Clarke
In today's market it's no longer enough to bank on your top-tier experience, as general counsels are looking for candidates with a CV that packs a punch. In order to stand out from the crowd, you may want to consider:
Further education. Most appealing is the College of Law Graduate Diploma of In-house Legal Practice. Another is CSA's Certificate in Governance and Risk Management. A Masters of Law has always been beneficial, however choose your specialisation carefully.
Secondment experience. Exposure to in-house will help you understand the requirements and the environment. It also allows the hiring general counsel to determine how prepared you are for the sea change.
Background/Rotations. A mixture of experience across departments such as corporate, employment, litigation and commercial demonstrates a well-rounded experience base. For experienced lawyers areas such as corporate or commercial are the most desirable backgrounds.
Academics. Strong academics and/or honours are viewed favourably.
Transaction list. Have a comprehensive CV outlining all major transactions. General counsels want to see the work and to what level you were involved. With this in mind does your CV say, "Here I am" or does it scream "Hire me"?