Daniel DiLucchio, the article's author, noted that "[g]o-to lawyers are not necessarily the deputy GC or managing counsel." Notwithstanding, the inherent value of go-to lawyers means that when these individuals are not at the top of the legal organizational tree, they are a good bet to reach the top someday.
The article identified eight attributes of a go-to lawyer:
- Knows the law — Has a thorough grasp of the relevant laws and regulations for his industry and keeps up with new developments.
- Excellent communicator — Knows how to explain the law and its implications to the client; has listening skills that are at least as good as his speaking and writing abilities.
- Confident style — Can connect with the client, is respectful but not cowed; can win the client's confidence and become a member of the team.
- Knowledge of the business — Able to identify the key strategic issues and use the law to help advance the business.
- Excellent judgment — Can make the right call on issues based on past experience and an understanding of similar situations.
- Willing to "put skin in the game" — Able to take a calculated risk with a client and communicate that he's standing behind him.
- Good work ethic — At a minimum, works the same hours as the client; is available, responsive, and amenable to time frame and expectations.
- Sense of urgency — Shares the client's need to move quickly in a highly competitive environment.
To this excellent list of eight points, I will humbly add a ninth: On top of things — Is not five months behind in professionally worthwhile but technically nonessential reading.