The program sports the motto, Think like a lawyer, perform like an executive. Its aim is to develop the skills and knowledge essential for transitioning from a legal position to that of a strategic internal business partner.
Grant Borbridge, chairman of the CCCA, told Canadian Lawyer magazine that his group started looking at such a plan two years ago because law school programs do a good job of teaching substantive law, but dont prepare lawyers to be in-house counsel.
Borbridge said he hopes one day the certification becomes so recognized in the in-house bar that it becomes the gold standard for hiring.
The program aims to provide a competitive edge to in-house counsel who are looking to advance to a general counsel or executive level position. The coursework is offered through a trio of three-day seminars, plus an online component. The course syllabus includes four main elements:
Business Leadership: insolvency, privacy, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance
Developing as a Manager: transitioning to management, fundamentals of financial management, managing a legal department
Effective General Counseling: strategic management, leading change, crisis management
In the U.S., some universities offer post-law school programs. The Association of Corporate Counsel has a three-day mini MBA program offered with the help of Boston University Business School. And in November 2012, Corporate Counsel examined law school courses that focus on in-house work.
But the CCCA says it believes this is the only certification program available for in-house counsel.