You’re a new in-house counsel.

How do you prepare for the job? What are the big issues that will come across your desk? How do you succeed in addressing these issues-which are new to you? Don’t worry; this course has you covered. It provides the necessary onboarding you need to understand and thrive in this new role.

**Select modules of this Self-Paced Course offer CLE in 60 jurisdictions. Please see the bottom of the module description for additional details**

This is a members-only product. Please log in to purchase.

Business man reading a book in front of office buildings

7 Modules; 10h


CCU banner image


This content is derived from ACC's 2022 Corporate Counsel University® (CCU). CCU is the leading onboarding and networking opportunity specially tailored for new in-house lawyers. CCU is the ideal program for members with less than five years of experience in a corporate legal department, as well as those seeking to refresh their basic practice skills. To find out more about CCU and register for this year, visit

Course Modules:

Module 1: Contract Drafting & Negotiation

This module will help new in-house counsel enhance their ability to successfully negotiate a wide variety of agreements, as well as effectively analyze and draft important provisions in such agreements. Key topics covered: 

  • See the impact of, and how to avoid, common negotiation mistakes
  • Learn about negotiating lines that are intended to get you to concede an issue, including why they often work and how to respond to them
  • Explore best practices for working with your business units in connection with contract issues
  • Analyze common-but-challenging contract provisions, spot the issues, and discuss risk mitigation techniques

contract illustration


a gavel laid in front of several books


Module 2: Introduction to Corporate Litigation

With this module, identify tips to better understand your organization’s culture and goals regarding litigation as well as the key steps your peers take when faced with a new lawsuit. Plus, this module will help you:

  • Understand how to assess the financial impact of a lawsuit on the organization and enable management to make decisions about risk
  • Explore what tools your peers use to determine whether to get in, stay in, or get out, and resolve disputes as early as appropriate
  • Learn to take steps and create programs to help prevent litigation

Module 3: Key Employment Issues Part I: Keeping the Business Going

Outline the main employment issues and regulations you need to keep in mind and explore the legal considerations associated with hiring new employees. This module will also:

  • Explore the basics of identifying and addressing employment issues such as disability compliance with the U.S. Americans with Disabilities Act and required accommodations
  • Dive into the issues surrounding overtime pay, the U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act classification compliance and leave, and engaging independent contractors 
  • Review discrimination prevention, mental health in the workplace, and employee monitoring
  • Cover emerging workplace issues such as employee social media usage, diversity programs, genetic information discrimination, and class action waivers

Office building at night with one office lit up with a man inside


graphs and financial statements


Module 4: Accounting and Financial Statements Analysis 101 for In-house Counsel

Understanding key accounting principles and financial statements is an essential asset for in-house counsel to spot red flags, assess strategic options more effectively, and provide better informed legal and business advice to the organization. This module will prepare you for these and other key topics:

  • Understand the balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement
  • Examine the external and internal factors that affect the longer-term profitability of the organization
  • Discuss how to identify red flags that signal financial difficulties or accounting problems

Module 5: Protecting Your Client's IP

In this module, you’ll uncover the key IP rights and risks you should be mindful of, including how to examine the necessary steps to protect valuable corporate assets on a national and global scale, and how not to infringe on the intellectual property rights of others. Plus, you will: 

  • Explore how to prevent employees and independent contractors from misappropriating confidential company information and what remedial steps to take if you uncover inappropriate activity
  • Learn to spot and respond to common issues in advertising, trademarks, licensing, and other areas so that you leave empowered to respond accordingly
  • Discuss the ins and outs of nondisclosure agreements and ownership provisions in contracts, and receive a few samples to take back to the office

a book with ideas exploding out of it


A padlock on top of a computer keyboard


Module 6: Data Privacy, Challenges to Information Security, and Data Transfers

Gain a better understanding of the data privacy legal and regulatory landscape that will inevitably serve as a major focus area of your new in-house role. This module will help you:

  • Better identify where and how privacy and data security issues may arise, and how to assess the risks of your data privacy and information security protocols
  • Develop a privacy program and the tools they put in place to prepare for incidents and engage business teams on privacy and security risks
  • Explore how to mitigate your company’s cyber risk with cyber and traditional insurance
  • Examine how to manage an international patchwork of privacy rules and cross-border transfers of data

Module 7: In-house Ethics 101: What You Need to Know in Your In-house Role

The ethical problems that arise in-house can be very different from the typical private practice issues. Focusing on the ethical challenges in-house counsel face, this module will address their obligations under the American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct 1.6, 1.13, 1.7, and 5.5. In this session you will:

  • Understand in-house counsel’s ethical obligations to the organization as a client
  • Gain insight into the ethical implications of the dual business and legal roles that in-house counsel are expected to fill
  • Explore how to manage attorney-client privilege in the corporate context
  • Learn tips for navigating conflicts of interest, multi-jurisdictional practice, and other common in-house ethical issues

Lady Justice


Want More? Check out the rest of our available Self-paced Courses! And don't forget to check for new courses every month!

Back to Self-paced Courses Page Back to Online Education Page

ACC Global Headquarters
1001 G Street NW
Suite 300W
Washington, D.C. 20001 USA
Privacy & Policies © 1998-2024, Association of Corporate Counsel. All Rights Reserved.