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Career Story: Former Corporate Counsel For A Large Insurance Company

Former Corporate Counsel For A Large Insurance Company

Job Title: Attorney

Type of Company: Self-employed. My former company was a large insurance/ securities organization with salesmen across the country.

Education: BA, Art History, Tufts University •• JD, Suffolk School of Law (Boston, MA)

Previous Experience: I worked as an investment management assistant before law school. After law school I worked as corporate counsel at a large insurance and securities organization.

Job Tasks: As a corporate counsel at a large insurance company, I was primarily responsible for ensuring that our salesmen across the country were in compliance with the numerous state and federal insurance and securities laws that governed their conduct. I reviewed sales material to ensure they had adequate disclosures, for example. I also inspected regional offices to make sure offices were acting in compliance with the laws. I also drafted corporate contracts for several departments within the company. Finally, I was the primary liaison between the company and any state or federal regulatory board that requested information from the company.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of this job was working with corporate clients. As a corporate counsel, your client is the company and everything you do is meant to benefit the company. The hardest part of the job was trying to achieve what the department needed from me legally while balancing what was in the best interest of the company. For example, a salesman may want to tout a particular securities product, but he doesn't want to include the "fine print" that could undermine his sales pitch.

Job Tips: While in law school, do as many internships as you can, even if they are unpaid (if you can afford it.) Since I was interested in Securities Law, I interned at The Boston Stock Exchange, the Massachusetts Division of Insurance, and the SEC. If you identify a place where you'd love to get an internship, and it turns out they don't offer any, call up the person in charge of the department you are interested in -- not someone in Human Resources -- and offer to work for free.

Additional Thoughts: Since I live an hour outside Boston, I wish I had branched out in my career. Once I had a family, it was impossible for me to commute to Boston for a legal job and strike a balance with a healthy family life. My training did not lend itself to working outside a corporate environment and there are not that many corporations in the Boston suburbs.

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