Salute to the Rookies

Starting a new job is always scary. There are the personal concerns--will I have a comfortable workspace and will I get along with my co-workers? Then there are the professional concerns--will I be able to handle my responsibilities and will the boss like me? Whether these worries are justifiable or completely irrational doesn't matter. We all have them.

When I came on as editor of InsideCounsel in February, I was no exception. Of course, I was excited to return to the publication I knew and respected (I had served as senior editor of Corporate Legal Times/InsideCounsel from 2003 to 2006). But I was coming into a completely different role--one with increased responsibilities over not only the magazine,
but also the staff.

The past several months have been a true test of my abilities--both as a magazine editor and a manager. Sure, I brought a lot of skills into this position, but I'm also learning a lot along the way. I have great staff members who do a wonderful job supporting me in my role, and I strive to do the same for them. And every day, I learn something new and--hopefully--become better at what I do.

Taking on a new position with increased responsibility presents the most skilled professional with both excitement and anxiety. In this month's cover story ("Most Valuable Players"), InsideCounsel profiles some of the country's standout rookie general counsel. These unique individuals have made their way in a competitive legal world to stand at the helm of some of this country's highest profile legal departments--leading their teams with confidence.

And the list is quite diverse. One veteran in-houser, for example, is just now taking the top position leading the legal department of one of the world's largest chemical companies, while another--brand new to the in-house experience--recently left the law firm life to move in-house and help clean up a mess left by the former GC. They serve at companies large and small, as well as non-profit and government organizations.

While the 10 GCs InsideCounsel profiled are only the tip of the talented in-house lawyer iceberg, the story gives a big-picture view of the types of qualities that propel attorneys to the top of the in-house legal world. And these individuals may serve as inspiration for many striving GCs-to-be.

Contributing Author

Cathleen Flahardy

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