The second post in the Mental Models for Corporate Counsel series.
This Model is particularly relevant to corporate counsel, who are often expected to have a specialist’s expertise and a generalist’s range.
You might often hear about the importance of ‘staying within your Circle of Competence’, especially in corporate circles (though there’s no shortage of ‘corporate advisers’ purporting to be experts on metals one week and medicinal marijuana the next!).
I’m sure that’s good advice for circumstances where the pressure to respond to opportunities is low, and the consequences of failure are high. Certainly, it is better to play those games that value your natural strengths than those which do not.
However, the in-house legal counsel does not always have that luxury. There will be times clients look to you and expect you to advise them on the law; regardless of whether that area of law falls within your specialty.