New Years Resolution: Join a Board

Happy New Year. Many folks use the start of a new year to set big professional goals. Perhaps one of yours is to join a public or private corporate board.

Joining a board is like getting married: a really great idea, unless it’s not. Before you accept that new board seat it’s a good idea to consider the three sets of questions I address in my article “Considering joining a board? Read this first.” The article was published in this month’s edition of Inside Counsel Magazine.

Some of the questions are difficult. Management/board dynamic questions definitely falls into this category. Some of the questions are straight-forward, and can also be quite revealing about a board’s culture. Board process questions fall into this category. The most straight forward set of questions is on the topic of board protections. This is, however, also a set of questions that too many first time board members feel hesitant to pursue. Knowing what information to request can go a long way to overcoming this hesitation.

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“Things That Make You Go Hmmm… Common Ethical Dilemmas That In-House Counsel Face”: I’m moderating this upcoming lunchtime session for the Corporate Legal Professional Network. The session takes place in the Redwood City, California on Thursday, January 16. My guest is the renowned legal ethicist Pamela Philips of Arnold & Porter. Pamela will be running the paces with me on some of the more interesting ethical issues commonly faced by in-house corporate and M&A lawyers. I’m looking forward to what is sure to be an illuminating session.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author. This blog should not be taken as insurance or legal advice for your particular situation. Questions? Comments? Concerns? Email:



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