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How do I pick a new title for my quasi-legal job?

By Edward Honnold

Q: I work in the legal department of a mid-size media company. I have a JD, but am not a practicing attorney. I was hired to perform traditionally paralegal-type functions, but the parameters of my job have expanded tremendously. I prepare SEC compliance filings; perform contract administration work; review commercials to make sure they comply with our advertising guidelines; conduct pre-publication review of news stories; monitor our pending and threatened litigation matters; draft all manner of contracts, etc.

I was recently asked to select a new job title. Any ideas?

A: What is your reluctance to request a job title as counsel, or attorney? The functions you perform certainly are those of an attorney. When you say you are not a practicing attorney, perhaps you mean that you are not admitted as a member of the local Bar. If so, you will definitely need to study for the exam, take it and pass it. But if you are admitted to practice law, I see no reason why your job title should not reflect the nature of your work. Go for what you want, which appears to be to practice law. You are an "attorney."

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