More On

First thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers (part 2)

Musings on the critical importance of building relationships of mutual respect, understanding and trust with the business side

War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing!

—Edwin Starr

On a fundamental communication level, this also helps in talking the talk when you know the lingo that your internal clients are fluent in. Both internal and external clients like us lawyers a lot more, or at least hate us a little less, when we sound a lot less like lawyers and a lot more like normal people. While it may seem like being damned with faint praise when it happens, trust me when I tell you that the highest compliment a client can bestow upon you is to say “I always forget you’re a lawyer!” GCs actually brag about this.

This mindset is also helpful in potentially making a move to the business side of the organization yourself, or in joining corporate boards of other companies (both of which GCs are increasingly doing), in addition to simply furthering one’s career as an effective in-house counsel. But that, too, is a whole ‘nother column.

Contributing Author

author image

Sonya Olds Som

Sonya Olds Som is a managing director in Major, Lindsey & Africa's Chicago office and is primarily responsible for leading networking, business development and marketing...

Bio and more articles

Join the Conversation

Advertisement. Closing in 15 seconds.