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Jas Hayes: Career Advice for New Lawyers from a Seasoned General Counsel

1bcf0ba Jay Hayes, General Counsel - North America, Axalta Coating Systems


Connex Partners recently had the privilege to sit down with Jas Hayes, General Counsel - North America of Axalta Coating Systems, as he looked back on his early career and shared what he thinks every new lawyer should keep in mind when starting out.

Career Insights: "If I knew then, what I know now"

I wish I had appreciated how valuable the initial guidance and training I received from the first two General Counsels I worked for really was. Both GCs stressed the role of the attorney as a business partner and encouraged us to not say "no," but say "how?" I was encouraged to "fill gaps if I see them" even if the gaps weren't in the legal department or explicitly Legal's responsibility. At the time, this seemed like an excessive demand on my time and I believed that compensating for other areas of weakness in an organization would only allow that area or function to continue to be weak. But I now know that an organization succeeds as a team and compensating for others' weaknesses is what makes a good teammate and attorney.

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