John Page, Senior Vice President of Golden State Foods, gives professional pointers for success in law.
John Page has always been fascinated with the idea of order and structure in society. And much like societies, Page has discovered that our own professional careers require similar guidance and structure for us to be successfully effective in our respective fields.
When the Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Golden State Foods (GSF) recently spoke with Forefront, he explained how his humble beginnings of growing up in an impoverished neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York, has influenced his educational and professional paths. He was fortunate as a child to be exposed to opportunities beyond his surroundings, which eventually led him to pursue a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in Philadelphia. After graduating, Page spent time working as a transactional and commercial litigation attorney in New York City before making the move in-house and eventually joining GSF, where he has been for the past 10 years.
With more than 20 years of legal experience under his belt, Page shared with us some of the professional principles his has discovered over the years—and puts into use each day—in order to be a better lawyer.
Conciseness: Be concise and understand the context of what you are doing.
Clarity & Context: Clarity is important as you go along in your profession because it is how you deliver better advice. Even if it is not what the clients want to hear, they will know you at least understood the base in which they made their inquiries, which is why context is important.
Confidence: You will be challenged early on in your career about how sure you are in your role as a lawyer and the advice you give. But if you go ahead and understand the business and the context, as well as how to give advice in a clear and concise manner, your confidence should build up over time.
Engaged: Being engaged means understanding the business and being there at concept stages. Provide your advice from the beginning rather than at the end, and focus on having great expectations.
Proactive: Try to think of and anticipate what your clients will need rather than wait for them to come to you with their concerns. Find ways to keep the lines of communication open.
John Page is the Senior Vice President and Senior Counsel at Golden State Foods. He was featured in Issue 12 of Forefront Magazine.
Stephanie Harris is a freelance writer for Forefront Magazine.