Courageous Counsel

In 1979, only one woman served as top legal officer of a Fortune 500 company.  Today, there are more than 100.  Even though that seems like a large number, especially given it’s doubled since the year 2000 alone, women still represent only 20% of general counsel in the Fortune 500.  Studies have shown that only 6% of the country’s 200 highest-grossing firms have a female managing partner.

In their new book, Courageous Counsel, San Francisco-based SNR Denton partner Kara Baysinger and Allstate’s general counsel Michele Mayes dive in to share candid and personal discussions with more than 50 current and former women general counsels.

So, what is a general counsel?  A general counsel is the chief lawyer of any legal department, usually in a corporation or government department.  Did you know that women have received more than 40 percent of all law school degrees awarded since 1986?  General Counsel shares more reports and statistics, discussing the perception of women in law.

The book as a whole offers valuable advice and lessons, such as the importance of taking risks and creating opportunities and letting women know that every career success path is different.  According to Baysinger, “That’s actually a really powerful message for women and men who are thinking about how to get ahead.  Just because you don’t look like or act like or have the same CV as the person who did a job before you, that doesn’t mean  you aren’t precluded from doing it too.”

Inspirational, informative and ideal.  Courageous Counsel offers something for every woman, lawyer or not.  You can pick a copy of Courageous Counsel from