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In the lead-up to Lawyers Weekly’s inaugural Corporate Counsel Awards, three general counsel have shared their advice for legal professionals aspiring to similar roles.

Speaking to Lawyers Weekly, L’Oreal general counsel Anna Lozynski said lawyers who want to move in-house and/or work up the ranks to become general counsel should conduct due diligence “as the transition between private practice and in-house can be an adjustment, or a mismatch of expectations”.

“Start networking early and broadly within the industries in which you desire to work,” she said.

“Secure a great mentor (or a range of them) if that is more helpful, or be courageous and ask practitioners and leaders whom you admire to meet for a coffee catch-up at their offices.

“Social media is also a powerful tool in today’s marketplace. Used in the right way, this can also help to elevate one’s profile, or facilitate relevant connections.”

Nine Entertainment Co. general counsel Rachel Launders recommended doing a secondment before moving in-house.

“For somebody in a law firm, I’d recommend doing a secondment in-house to decide whether you like the challenges of in-house life,” she said.

“Find a business that you’re really interested in, with people who are passionate about working in that business, who see their lawyers as a valuable part of the team.”

Qudos Bank general counsel Cindy Hansen advised legal professionals to start developing vital skills now if they aspire to the role of general counsel.

“I believe that the most important skills to master if you aspire to the role of general counsel are the abilities to distil complex legal issues (cut to the chase) and to provide alternates when faced with a problem (don’t just say no, say how),” she said.

Lawyers Weekly will recognise Australia's best in-house lawyers and legal teams at the inaugural Corporate Counsel Awards.

The black-tie event will kick off in Sydney on 17 February 2017 at The Westin Sydney.

To learn more about the event, click here.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

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