We are looking for reliable and trustworthy partners with a solid legal mind and competent, high-quality experience. We also pay attention to the timely handling of legal issues and punctuality in the submission of their results. We also take into account the precision of their work in relation to our projects, which require special handling, knowledge and experience. Be honest with legal advice. Identify risks, but recommend measures to mitigate or manage them. Manage your deadlines. List them and learn how to prioritize. Ensure quality and rapid elimination of your results. Learn from your mistakes. Learn how to get over it. Be humble and understand that these mistakes will one day make you a better advocate. After all, our lawyers treat each other as if we were family. While we often discuss the legal issues that come before us, which is a good intellectual exercise for everyone, at the end of the day, there is that sense of respect and support in the final decision or direction.
Personally, I believe lawyers are more satisfied with their work when they have close friendship or camaraderie at work. Another challenge is balancing efficiency and effectiveness and educating the company about this balance. In this situation, in-house counsel should proactively lead proposals, reduce costs while identifying appropriate efficiency measures. Disclaimer: All views are personal and do not reflect those of the organization. The opinions shared are not intended for legal advice and are for general information and educational purposes only. Legal departments will always have legal research and writing at their core, so they are likely to remain consistent when it comes to these functions. What will change is the interaction between lawyers and clients. Today, physical interaction is risky due to the threat of the coronavirus, and as a result, new ways for lawyers to respond effectively to their findings must be explored. The security of data, information, and even contracts is also a common challenge, especially during this pandemic. In-house counsel must be guided by rapid technological change and be able to manage the risks associated with these developments. The larger the organization, the more risks are transferred to in-house counsel and sometimes they have to make business decisions.
It is therefore up to a consultant to understand the company, its goals and objectives, and its strategies. It is also essential to communicate the risks associated with management decisions. In-house counsel are also expected to provide commercially sound but legally sound solutions to avoid or manage these risks. I found mentoring as a young lawyer very helpful. Due to the multiple issues our company faces due to its highly regulated activities as the largest distribution company in the Philippines, my mentors have motivated me to always keep abreast of its business and operational issues and relevant legal concerns. They showed me the intricacies of the energy industry and how to deal effectively but politely with your customers and regulators. Our corporate legal team is frequently consulted on decisions that affect our company`s operations and business decisions. I appreciate that my team has a direct link to important aspects not only of Meralco, but also to provide legal services to its subsidiaries/affiliates. We are also involved in various business sectors such as collection, power generation, financing, construction, electronic transportation, telecommunications, renewable energy companies and insurance.
Our business law firm is composed of 10 lawyers and seven paralegals and administrative staff. Two teams report to me – one manages Meralco`s legal work and the other provides legal services to Meralco`s subsidiaries and affiliates. Build good relationships with colleagues and colleagues. Be respectful and polite, but express your legal position with conviction. This will gain the trust of your supervisors and employees. Due to the need to work from home, reliable internet service is invaluable these days. We also rely on communication software and sometimes even our smartphones have become important communication tools, especially when they need to communicate without our laptops. During this pandemic, we were all suddenly within the walls of our homes, and many felt frustration and helplessness as they worried about what might happen next. My painting hobby brought peace and happiness and relieved tensions, fears and insecurities. It also helps me recharge my batteries when needed.
Finally, be kind to yourself. Eat healthy, exercise regularly, and relax from time to time. I then briefly served as department head at a state-owned and controlled company until I decided to join Manila Electric Company or Meralco in 1999. Meralco is the largest electricity distribution company in the Philippines. I started as a staff lawyer and argued until I was appointed head of the corporate legal team. Enjoy your relationships with your mentors, but learn how to develop your independence. Your mentors won`t be with you forever. A mentor can also help build a mentee`s professional network and connect them with potential opportunities for free. It`s difficult, but intellectually fulfilling, when we solve problems with projects and contracts. We learn a lot, especially if the counterpart is a foreign company. These experiences could teach us new ideas to support our own processes. Providing results also depends on accurate research, which is sometimes difficult, especially when data can only be collected through fieldwork.
But there are always new challenges and ingenious solutions. It`s just about keeping pace with technology and looking for smart ways to connect with people. In 1997, I started as an attorney at the Court of Appeals of the Philippines, where I assisted judges in evaluating and drafting decisions on appeals cases. Technology has allowed us to work in situations where it would be impossible to coordinate and communicate with everyone. Software tools such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Google Meet and other e-conferencing applications have made it possible to connect online to discuss important topics and operational information in order to keep our business running smoothly. Don`t be afraid to leave your comfort zone. In the past, I was a shy person and always suspicious of accepting a job I thought I couldn`t do, especially because I had never had any experience in the past.
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