Q: What is the compensation and reporting structure for a VP of Legal? Is it better to have a broader title like this or something more specific?
A: In earlier Lawyer Whisperer articles, I describe the various attorney profiles that define a private company general counsel. However, one such profile fits more squarely into a role that is not as elevated as a true GC. That role is what I refer to as a “GC Light.” This attorney profile tends to be on the more junior side of the GC seniority spectrum (between 12–15 years), has a strong commercial/tech transactions background and often enters the role without prior GC experience. She has solid law firm and in-house experience often with well-branded employers and served in a high-ranking position within her former legal department (often the No. 2 lawyer). This attorney is tasked with the blocking and tackling of the sales, commercial and other tech agreements, setting up the department infrastructure and handling most general corporate, IP, privacy and other matters that come down the pipe. This isn’t a core strategic position and exposure to the board is fleeting.
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