You have accepted your first general counsel position, so you are now asking, “What’s next?” Becoming the head of a legal team is very exciting, but can also be a daunting task no matter how experienced or seasoned you are. There are many nuances to a particular organization and team that require adeptly navigating your first few days, weeks and months in your new role. After several conversations with seasoned general counsels across the country who lead legal teams ranging from one-person to multiple lawyers and professionals at large, global public companies, here are some of the most frequently noted takeaways from those conversations.

Where do I start?

Build relationships and listen. Your number one priority as a new general counsel should be developing relationships with everyone—at all levels, in all departments. Start out by meeting with your critical business partners and the senior leadership team. Then, take the time to get to know the members of the legal department, their responsibilities and personalities, as well as leaders in other key business functions. Listen to gain an understanding of their perspectives and pain points. This will go a long way to gaining credibility in your new organization.

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