The top lawyer wears many hats – a generalist in a specialist’s age

Robert Half Legal has a pithy comment in a recent release that contrasts generalist skills with the legal specialization rampant in our day. “Today’s GC wears many hats — legal advisor to the board of directors and Chief Executive Officer, savvy business strategist, knowledgeable interpreter of regulations and statutes, risk assessment expert, as well as visionary and manager of outside counsel. Despite the growth of specialization in legal practice, a GC has to be a generalist.”

This blogger must note one other GC hat: manager of the legal function. I like the quote because it underscores how difficult it is for a general counsel to don all the hats – Bartholomew-like, particularly the high-tops of “savvy business strategist” and “visionary.” To be an accomplished multi-hat GC is a rare feat and my hat’s off to those few.

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