Member in the Spotlight is a regular newsletter piece where we get up-close and personal with some of our ACC Australia members. Recently, we spoke with Bec Taube, RMIT’s Deputy General Counsel, a member of ACC Australia and a regular speaker at ACC Australia events.
Tell us about your current role:
I’m currently Deputy General Counsel at RMIT University. I support the Uni in taking good risks, and in achieving its strategic goals. I particularly look after the Industry Engagement, Education and Policy and Impact portfolios, which are all about excellent student experiences, real world industry connections, and building communities of lifelong learners.
What do you believe is the most important skill an in-house lawyer needs?
I think great in-house lawyers invest in understanding their businesses intimately, which enables them to look at a complex legal issue and navigate their business through it with a practical solution. OK, this might be two skills.
What led you to pursue an in-house legal role?
I went on secondment from a firm to a client: it was supposed to be for 8 weeks, but I utterly loved it and stayed there for 8 years.
What advice would you offer to in-house counsel in building relationships with their organisations?
Be an integrated part of your business – don’t sit in your ivory tower. Join their sport or volunteer or social clubs; or if there isn’t one, start it. Connecting with your clients as people, rather than “to do” items in your inbox, is a great way to build personal trust, which supports professional trust.
What is the one thing a law degree doesn’t teach you about being an in-house lawyer?
How to write short, effective, and practical advice. No client has ever asked me for a long memo which cites case law.
What are the biggest changes you’ve witnessed across the legal sector since you joined the profession?
Having trudged through discovery and due diligence manually as a junior, I’m very excited about how technology has changed, and will continue to change our work.
Finish this sentence…. If I wasn’t a lawyer I’d be….
A Volcanologist (science plus adventure).
I like being a part of the ACC Australia community because …….
I don’t like it. I love it! It’s the best professional support network for in-house lawyers. I’d be a lesser lawyer without it.