Michelle Banks | What General Counsel Want Their Outside Counsel to Know, and the People-Helping Power of Networking
Play • 39 min

Michelle Banks is a Senior Advisor at BarkerGilmore, a company leading the way in legal and compliance optimization. At BarkerGilmore, Michelle specializes in executive leadership coaching for women general counsel. 

Active in many nonprofits, Michelle is a member of the Board of Directors at DirectWomen and chairs Ms. JD’s annual LaddHer Up retreat. She is also the Co-founder and Co-chair of UCLA Women LEAD, a network of more than 3,000 women law students. 

In her role at BarkerGilmore, Michelle primarily supports newer general counsel and those going through a transition period. Bringing an exceptional corporate perspective, she helps them transition into new roles, manage change, and successfully resolve the array of challenges they face. From working closely with various general counsel, Michelle understands what outside counsel should know — and the invaluable power of networking.

In this episode…

In-house counsel and their outside attorneys communicate on a regular basis. But private practice lawyers who haven’t worked in-house often don’t fully understand the in-house counsel role, potentially reducing the value that private practice lawyers deliver to their clients.

On a separate topic, it’s no secret that, despite the fact that women have been graduating from law schools at the rate of 50% for nearly 30 years, women lawyers continue to be underrepresented in leadership roles.

In this episode of The Lawyer’s Edge Podcast, Elise Holtzman is joined by Michelle Banks, former Global General Counsel at The Gap and a Senior Advisor and Executive Coach at BarkerGilmore, where she specializes in working with general counsel who are changing roles or taking on significant leadership responsibility. Michelle talks about what general counsel wish their outside lawyers knew about the demands of their jobs and the career-boosting tip that she wishes she had known early in her career.

A tireless advocate for women’s advancement in the profession and the Co-founder and Co-chair of UCLA Law Women LEAD, Michelle offers tips to help individual women lawyers advance and thrive but also strongly believes that corporations and law firms must intentionally work to interrupt gender bias within their organizations so that talented women can lead.

Michelle also goes into detail about her own professional journey, the passion she has for her volunteer work empowering women in the legal community, and the value of cultivating a growth mindset.

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