First-Time GC: What you need to know

Are you a first-time GC, or looking to move your career in house? We get it, the struggle is real!

Here’s a replay of our first ever 'Ask the Expert', where Hank Greenberg shared his thoughts on what you need to know as a first-time GC.

Key Takeaways: 

  • Set & drive your own goals

  • Build and promote integrity & trust

  • Redirect legal outputs as inputs 

  • Be more than just a lawyer 

  • Be willing to put your name on everything

  • Keep things simple, yet be ready to answer tough questions

  • Find & maintain your voice as a leader

Meet the Presenters: 

  • Host: Raad Ahmed

    • CEO & Co-founder at Lawtrades, giving busy GC’s the superpower to do more, with less

  • Presenter: Hank Greenberg 

    •  General Counsel at Oscar Health, a health company utilizing technology, design, and data to humanize health care. 

What To Expect:


  • How to build a model to do the GC job: common ideas, skills, principles  

  • Work-in-progress

  • There is no one size fits all

    • Success can and will look different

Design your Agenda:


  • Agenda is what differentiates a lawyer from a GC 

  • Budget resources across the team

    • Understand where your priorities lie 

  • Deploy your agenda as a leader

    • Set your own workflow

  • Understand risk according to company framework

    •  Use your voice to catalyze action

Understand the Business:


  • Grasp full bounds of risk

    • GC has to understand the operations and strategic goals of the company

    • Know the market - how it works, and what it does 

    • Share knowledge with lawyers working with you

  • Legal analysis as an input, rather than an output 

    • Forces you to strategize market risk

    • Starting point for guidance to client

Handling C-Suite:


  • Build credibility

    •  CEO and CFO should see you as a trustworthy person

  • Convey pertinent issues to clients so as to minimize work they have to do

    • Clients do not need to know or understand the intricacies of law 

  • You can’t be a one-stop-shop for everything

    • It is okay to admit you do not know an answer 

    • Make sure to circle back when you find answers

Be a Paid Skeptic:


  • Test other’s ideas and conclusions

    • Do not rely wholesale on advice without testing it yourself

  • Play the role of CEO or CFO

    • Be ready to face the rigor of underlying assumptions

  • You are an expert of your client

    • Trust your legal team, stop comparing to strategies of competitors

Find Your Voice: 


  • You are not just another lawyer

    • Recognize the immense power and authority you hold

  • Wield power in a responsible way 

    • Build your own integrity, promote your confidence

  • Set rules for behavior

    • Form a list of values you adhere to every single day 

  • Be direct, use analysis as an input 

    • Do not need to deploy rationale for everything

    •  Utilize concise (yes or no) answers

  • Develop a simple style of communication

    • Be ready to explain pertinent answers

    • “Spoon feed” info by utilizing layman’s terms

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