The General Counsel Oath
This Oath is suggested for existing and incoming General Counsel or individuals in equivalent leadership roles such as Chief Legal Officer, Legal Director, Chief Compliance Officer or Chief Ethics Officer. It can be used globally. For more information, please visit About.
I promise to fulfil, to the best of my ability and judgment, this Oath:
Professional Responsibility & Ethics
I will abide by all of the stated rules, codes and guidance of professional responsibility and ethical behaviour that apply to me by virtue of my professional membership and will refresh my knowledge and understanding of these requirements on a regular basis.
I will go beyond stated rules, codes and guidance to act with integrity, honesty and in furtherance of upholding the highest ethical and professional values.
Leadership, Diversity & Inclusion
I will support my team in their professional development and will promote my team’s successes across my organization.
I will communicate feedback and direction regularly and clearly, and without bias.
I will offer my team continuous and equal opportunities for improvement and training.
I will be attentive and responsive to my team’s personal safety, health and mental well-being.
I will lead a team that is diverse and built on the principles of equal opportunity.
I will acknowledge that team members may face challenges or inequalities as a result of historical prejudices, racism, policies, practices or biases, and will endeavour to remedy such injustices by ensuring that they have every opportunity to succeed.
I will be alert to acts of prejudice, discrimination, exclusion or micro-aggression, whether intentional or unintentional, that may be directed towards my team or against others in my organization, will speak out against such behaviours, and will encourage and expect my team to do the same.
I will take a zero-tolerance approach to bullying, harassment and prejudice in the workplace.
I will consider and provide work, promotion and internship opportunities to candidates with diverse backgrounds, looking beyond traditional or societal norms for schooling, life experience or professional achievement.
I will implement education and action plans to foster diversity, equity, inclusion and antiracism, and will promote these objectives and values across my organization and in my relationships with law firms, recruiters, and others in the legal profession.
Social Impact & Pro Bono
I will contribute time, effort and initiative to pro bono efforts that use my professional skills to support social justice and create positive community impact.
I will actively encourage my team to explore and undertake pro bono activities, recognizing the time needed to undertake such efforts and ensure that my team feels supported in devoting such time.
I will foster a team that interacts with internal clients with professionalism and respect, and provides legal and compliance services to the best of the team’s abilities.
I will not hesitate to speak up on commercial and strategic matters that impact my organisation and will support initiatives that create and foster a positive and collaborative company culture.
I will raise awareness and propose solutions where I see the need for improvement in areas of compliance and risk, and will flag and escalate any concerns in the most appropriate manner.
I acknowledge that I am ultimately accountable for both the work-product and the professional conduct and behaviour of my team.
I will advocate for, and safeguard, the best interests of my organization, and will interact with external parties, even adversaries, with civility and professional courtesy.
I will be kind, honest, open-minded, humble, caring and supportive.
I will pursue opportunities for self-improvement, education, and professional development on a regular basis.
I will be a role-model for others in both my personal and professional capacities.
I recognize that my skills and leadership position are privileges and I will use them to advance the well-being of the people, organizations and communities with whom I interact.
Please visit Resources for a PDF version of the General Counsel Oath.
No matter what country you live in, or what type of organization you work for, please take the Oath and celebrate having done so with your teams, colleagues, and professional acquaintances.