June 04, 2013 Articles

The Business of Law: Women on Leadership, Mentoring, and Client Service

By M.C. Sungaila

The theme of this issue of the Woman Advocate newsletter is “the business of law.” In keeping with that theme, we interviewed general counsel, law firm managing partners, executives, and entrepreneurs to get their views on business success. Here are their answers.

Allyson Willoughby, General Counsel and SVP of People, Glassdoor

Q: What advice would you give to a junior woman lawyer interested in serving as in-house counsel?

A: I always say that it’s best to get a few years of solid experience under your belt as a practicing lawyer before trying to go in-house. Being an actively practicing lawyer will give you the ability to make judgment calls that are crucially important as in-house counsel. In addition, you should seek to obtain a broad range of experience because many in-house counsel roles require you to be a generalist. The more you can learn before going in-house, the more you will be of value to the in-house world. Finally, it is crucial to network, network, network! I regularly talk with law students who reach out to me for advice––they are doing the right thing by getting themselves out there early and establishing connections. Talk to in-house counsel and find out what it is really like. Worst-case scenario you may find out it isn’t for you; best-case scenario you make a connection that may be helpful down the line.

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