General Counsel Resume: Sample & Guide (Entry Level & Senior Jobs)

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General Counsel Resume Example
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General Counsel Resume Example

As a general counsel, your resume should demonstrate your extensive legal knowledge, strategic thinking, and leadership skills. To help you craft a powerful resume, we have provided a comprehensive general counsel resume example. Whether you're a seasoned professional seeking a new opportunity or a recent law school graduate entering the field, our example can serve as a valuable guide for showcasing your expertise and qualifications.

We will cover:

  • How to write a resume, no matter your industry or job title.
  • What to put on a resume to stand out.
  • The top skills employers from every industry want to see.
  • How to build a resume fast with our professional Resume Builder.
  • Why you should use a resume template
Plus, we will provide expert resume writing tips and professional examples to inspire you.

What does a General Counsel do?

  1. Provide legal advice and guidance to the company's executives and employees.
  2. Assist in the development and implementation of corporate policies and procedures.
  3. Review and negotiate contracts and other legal documents on behalf of the company.
  4. Manage and oversee the company's legal affairs and compliance efforts.
  5. Represent the company in legal proceedings and negotiations.

What are some responsibilities of a General Counsel?

  • Providing legal advice and guidance to the company and its executives
  • Overseeing and managing the company's legal affairs
  • Creating and implementing company policies and procedures
  • Ensuring compliance with laws and regulations
  • Managing outside counsel and legal vendors
  • Handling litigation and legal disputes
  • Negotiating and drafting contracts and agreements
  • Participating in strategic decision-making and risk management

Sample General Counsel Resume for Inspiration

Personal Details:

  • Name: John Doe
  • Email:
  • Phone: 123-456-7890
  • Address: 123 Main St, Anytown, USA


John Doe is a highly experienced General Counsel with a strong background in providing legal guidance and expertise to organizations. He is skilled in contract negotiation, litigation management, and compliance. John has a proven track record of successfully navigating complex legal issues and providing strategic counsel to drive business objectives.

Work Experience:

  • General Counsel, XYZ Corporation (2015-present)
  • Senior Associate, ABC Law Firm (2010-2015)
  • Associate, DEF Legal Services (2005-2010)


  • Juris Doctor (JD) from Law School University, Anytown, USA
  • Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from College University, Anytown, USA


  • Contract Negotiation
  • Litigation Management
  • Regulatory Compliance
  • Legal Research
  • Risk Assessment


  • Bar Admission in Anytown, USA
  • Certified Compliance Professional (CCP)


  • English (Fluent)
  • Spanish (Proficient)

Resume tips for General Counsel

Creating a perfect, career-launching resume is no easy task. Following general writing rules can help, but it is also smart to get advice tailored to your specific job search. When you’re new to the employment world, you need General Counsel resume tips.
We collected the best tips from seasoned General Counsel - Check out their advice to not only make your writing process easier but also increase your chances of creating a resume that piques the interest of prospective employers.

  • Highlight your years of experience as a general counsel in your resume
  • Showcase your achievements and successful cases to demonstrate your legal expertise
  • Use keywords relevant to the legal industry to increase your chances of being found by recruiters
  • Include your education and certifications to reinforce your qualifications as a general counsel
  • Provide specific examples of how you have provided strategic legal advice and guidance to senior leadership

General Counsel Resume Summary Examples

A General Counsel Resume Summary or Resume Objective is essential for showcasing your skills, experience, and career goals in a concise and impactful manner. It allows hiring managers to quickly assess your qualifications and determine if you are a good fit for the position. By including a well-crafted summary or objective, you can effectively communicate your strengths and make a strong impression on potential employers.

For Example:

  • Experienced General Counsel with extensive knowledge of corporate law and regulations
  • Proven ability to manage legal operations and provide strategic counsel to executive team
  • Demonstrated track record of successfully resolving complex legal issues
  • Strong background in contract negotiation and dispute resolution
  • Proficient in risk management and compliance with legal standards

Build a Strong Experience Section for Your General Counsel Resume

The experience section of a General Counsel resume is crucial in showcasing the candidate's expertise and qualifications. A strong experience section helps to demonstrate the candidate's ability to handle legal matters, manage a legal team, and make strategic decisions. It also provides insight into the candidate's accomplishments and successes in previous roles, which can be appealing to potential employers. A well-crafted experience section can make a candidate stand out and increase their chances of securing a job interview.

For Example:

  • Led negotiations for complex commercial contracts with key clients, resulting in a 15% increase in overall contract value.
  • Developed and implemented company-wide legal policies and procedures to ensure compliance with industry regulations and standards.
  • Managed a team of 5 staff attorneys and paralegals, providing guidance and support on legal matters and strategic initiatives.
  • Advised executive leadership on legal risks and potential impact on business decisions, resulting in reduced legal exposure and improved risk management.
  • Collaborated with external counsel on litigation matters, resulting in successful resolution of multiple legal disputes and cost savings for the company.
  • Conducted legal research and analysis on a variety of regulatory and compliance issues, providing strategic recommendations to mitigate legal risks.
  • Negotiated favorable settlements in employment disputes and regulatory investigations, saving the company significant time and resources.
  • Supported in-house M&A transactions, including due diligence, contract review, and integration planning, resulting in successful acquisitions and cost-effective integration processes.
  • Provided legal guidance on intellectual property matters, including trademark and copyright registration, enforcement, and licensing.
  • Managed the corporate governance and compliance functions, ensuring adherence to all legal and regulatory requirements.

General Counsel resume education example

A General Counsel typically needs a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from an accredited law school, as well as admission to the bar in the relevant jurisdiction. Additionally, a strong understanding of corporate, commercial, and employment law is essential. Many General Counsels also have prior experience as practicing attorneys or in-house legal counsel, as well as a background in business or finance. Continuing education and staying current with changes in laws and regulations are also important.

Here is an example of an experience listing suitable for a General Counsel resume:

  • Juris Doctor (JD) degree from an accredited law school
  • Bachelor's degree in Law or related field
  • Admitted to the bar in the state of practice
  • Continuing legal education courses and certifications

General Counsel Skills for a Resume

It is important to add skills to a General Counsel resume because it helps showcase the candidate's abilities, expertise, and qualifications for the position. Including a diverse set of skills demonstrates the candidate's readiness to handle a wide range of legal responsibilities, effectively representing the company's legal interests, and driving the organization towards its business goals.

Soft Skills:

  1. Leadership
  2. Communication
  3. Negotiation
  4. Strategic thinking
  5. Problem-solving
  6. Decision-making
  7. Teamwork
  8. Adaptability
  9. Time management
  10. Conflict resolution
Hard Skills:
  1. Legal Research
  2. Contract Drafting
  3. Corporate Governance
  4. Litigation Management
  5. Risk Assessment
  6. Regulatory Compliance
  7. Intellectual Property
  8. Mergers & Acquisitions
  9. Employment Law
  10. Strategic Planning

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Writing a General Counsel Resume

In this competitive job market, employers receive an average of 180 applications for each open position. To process these resumes, companies often rely on automated applicant tracking systems, which can sift through resumes and eliminate the least qualified applicants. If your resume is among the few that make it past these bots, it must still impress the recruiter or hiring manager. With so many applications coming in, recruiters typically give each resume only 5 seconds of their attention before deciding whether to discard it. Considering this, it's best to avoid including any distracting information on your application that could cause it to be thrown away. To help make sure your resume stands out, review the list below of what you should not include on your job application.

  • Not including a cover letter. A cover letter is a great way to explain why you are the best candidate for the job and why you want the position.
  • Using too much jargon. Hiring managers do not want to read a resume full of technical terms that they do not understand.
  • Omitting important details. Make sure to include your contact information, educational background, job history, and any relevant skills and experiences.
  • Using a generic template. Take the time to customize your resume to the job you are applying for. This will show the employer that you are serious about the position.
  • Spelling and grammar errors. Always double-check your resume for typos, spelling mistakes, and grammar errors.
  • Focusing too much on duties. Make sure to include accomplishments and successes to show the employer that you are a great candidate.
  • Including personal information. Avoid including any personal information such as age, marital status, or religious beliefs.

Key takeaways for a General Counsel resume

  • Ability to manage and oversee all legal aspects of the company
  • Experience in corporate law, contract negotiation, and compliance
  • Strong leadership and decision-making skills
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal abilities
  • Proven track record of delivering strategic legal advice and resolving complex legal issues
  • Ability to work collaboratively with cross-functional teams
  • Strong understanding of business operations and risk management
  • Proven ability to handle high-pressure situations and make sound legal decisions
  • Knowledge of industry regulations and best practices
  • Commitment to upholding ethical standards and promoting a culture of compliance within the organization

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