Third-year in BL and just had a second round of interviews for an in-house position. It was surprisingly similar to a law firm callback with no real curveballs. They mentioned that as in-house counsel, you have to answer questions that you don’t always know the answer to. Frickin, how does that work without you committing malpractice, especially if you’re still a “baby attorney”? By just using lots of qualifiers in your answer? What happens if you get it wrong (hopefully not instant termination)

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It really is about taking what you know from everything you've done before and using that to give reasonable answers. That really falls into a few categories: (1) I see real risk here (note that this can be either legal OR from a business perspective... Legal tends to know more details about what's going on across the company that many of your business partners), here are the risks before you move forward, and some potential solutions that aren't as risky (and, if they're significant and you have the authority, telling them what level of sign off they'd need to still move forward given the risks, or, in extreme circumstances, shutting them down), (2) I don't know if there are risks, but it sounds like something that could create significant liability, let me look into it and get back to you, (3) I don't know if there are risks, but what you're doing sounds reasonable and the risks are probably minor, so go ahead, (4) I actually know this is fine, and here's why. Generally, your job is to quantify risk and let the business move on knowing those risks if the risk is outweighed by commercial benefit, and to try to minimize risks that aren't outweighed by commercial benefit. Sometimes, you're just expected to be the smart one in the room who knows what all the business units are doing, and your job is to give business input from your perspective or connect people because they might not realize what other teams are doing (or, even, what they should be doing)

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Wow this is amazingly accurate

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It’s less about answering yes or no and more about quantifying legal risk for the business so they can make a decision

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Give the best answer you can based on the info you have available in the available time. Get comfortable giving advice and making calls with less than perfect info. Your advice isn’t wrong just because a different outcome occurs, so do the best you can. Understand that you know more about the law that any non-lawyer at the company on 99% of issues. And get comfortable accepting risk and figure out the business’ risk tolerance. It’s impossible to do business without accepting some risk.

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They probably meant that you’ll have to figure out how to find the answer

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