Becoming General Counsel to a Startup Company
"Why Startups Hire Their Own Lawyers"In this excellent article by Daniel Doktori, a WilmerHale associate, he explains why startup companies make the decision to go with in house, rather than outside counsel. The short version? The bills expand beyond the cost of hiring one salaried attorney. If you have any interest in making the in house jump, the article is worth reading, as it explains the unique role of general counsel in a start-up environment (as opposed to a stodgy corporation), provides tips for success, and most importantly, helps you understand what the companies are looking for. It's like a scouting report for Silicon Valley and other start-up hotbeds.
Start Up Job ListingsIf you can't find a position through networking, there are a number of startup-specific sites that have listings for in house counsel, such as StartUpHire and VentureLoop. A brief perusal of the listings confirms our earlier statement: this is territory for experienced BigLaw-yers only.
Learn the BusinessThough you'll hopefully learn much of what you need to know about seed stage financing and convertible debt at your previous stops, the absolute most comprehensive resource out there for startup law is Wilson Sonsini partner Yoichiro "Yokum" Taku's Startup Company Lawyer blog, which exhaustively covers financing, stock options, M&A, incorporation, and issues between founders. Editor's Note, January 31, 2023: This article was first published in January 2014. It has since been updated. Related Resources:
- GCs of the Future Part I -- 'The Fearless Leader' (FindLaw's In House Blog)
- GCs of the Future Part II -- The Counselor (FindLaw's In House Blog)
- 3 New Years Resolutions for Patent Reform (FindLaw's In House Blog)
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