As newly-arriving general counsel, should you bring along your former assistant (no) or use you predecessor’s (probably)?

Mark Roellig, the general counsel of Mass Mutual, has published several thoughtful articles recently about law department management. His latest appears in the ACC Docket, March 2012 at 53. Deep in the piece he mentions something a few readers might have encountered and offers some advice.

If a company selects you to come in as the general counsel, what should you do about your secretarial-administrative person? “My experience is that you are generally better off to assume the incumbent assistant than to take the risk of the two of you learning together – or to bring along your current assistant, which is a huge mistake.” If the person stays, and most do because they have risen to the upper echelon of administrative assistants, keep him or her as your guide and go-between.

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