Registration is now open.

Introduction to General Counsel University

General Counsel University (“GC University”) is an online course and community that provides legal professionals with the critical skills needed to become a general counsel (GC) or be hired and retained by GCs.

Designed by leading GCs from world-class companies, our program demystifies the intricate nature of the legal department’s role in an organization. Gain invaluable insights into the tools and techniques GCs use to effectively serve, and create value for, their organizations. Learn to leverage behavioral science to master interpersonal dynamics within internal teams and external counsel relationships. Equip yourself with the skills to navigate crisis events and manage disputes and outside counsel relationships.

GC University also offers legal professionals the opportunity to build a network through live virtual office hours and sessions. As the GC University community grows, we are also committed to supporting and organizing in-person meet-ups.

Location & Start Date



Course Launch:

August 12, 2024

Content Access: 5 months

Time Commitment: ~ 15 hours of mandatory content

Who Should Participate

This course is for all legal professionals, including:

  • First-time General Counsel and Chief Legal Officers
  • In-house Legal Professionals (Attorneys and Legal Operations Professionals)
  • Outside Counsel
  • Legal Service Providers (e.g., search firms, consulting firms, legal technology companies)

Course Structure for GC University

Course Format

GC University is a self-paced online course.

Course Lectures

This course consists of eight modules (plus one optional module), each containing a set of 10- to 15-minute videos. In the videos, instructors Seth Jaffe and Mark LeHocky use visual presentations to demonstrate the legal department’s responsibilities and expectations, the GC’s management of internal and external relationships, and legal’s role in business transactions such as mergers & acquisitions and IPOs. The videos also cover crisis management, ethical leadership, and how to make use of behavioral science.

Practitioner Perspectives

These course-exclusive interviews feature leading general counsel and corporate executives from companies such as Amazon, Gap, Intel, Starbucks, Toyota North America, Uber, and more.

Curated Readings

With new articles being published each day, it is difficult to navigate the vast amount of literature concerning in-house legal practices and operations. In this course, we have curated, and continually update, a selection of studies, surveys, and articles.

Live Office Hours and Networking Sessions

Optional live, online office hours with course instructors and facilitators, as well as online and in-person networking sessions (often featuring special guests), provide participants with the opportunity to ask questions and bring up topics for discussion.

GC University Course Modules

Module 1

Roles and Expectations of the GC and Legal Department

Expert Contributors:

  • Sandra Phillips Rogers, Senior Vice President, Corporate Resources, General Counsel, Chief Legal Office, Chief Diversity Officer and Corporate Secretary at Toyota North America
  • Rishi Varma, Senior Vice President and Chief Legal and Compliance Officer at Cargill

Module 2

Making Use of Behavioral Science

Expert Contributor: Adine Varah, General Counsel at SFMOMA

Module 3

The GC’s Role with Boards and Shareholders

Expert Contributor: Julie Gruber, Executive Vice President, Chief Legal and Compliance Officer at GAP

Module 4

Managing Outside Counsel Relationships

Expert Contributor: Brad Lerman, Executive Vice President and General Counsel at Starbucks

Module 5

The GC’s Role in Crisis Management

Expert Contributor: Tony West, Chief Legal Officer at Uber

Module 6


Expert Contributors:

  • Minnie Alexander, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at REI
  • David Zapolsky, Senior Vice President, Global Public Policy & General Counsel at Amazon

Module 7

The GC’s Role in M&A and IPOs

Expert Contributors:

Module 8

Managing Disputes

Expert Contributors:

  • Danielle McCoy, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at Fannie Mae
  • April Miller Boise, Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer at Intel

Module 9

In-House Careers (Optional)

Expert Contributor: Clint Smith, Chief Legal Officer at Discord

Module 10

GeoLegal Risk (Optional)

Expert Contributor: Sean West, Co-Founder at Hence Technologies


Berkeley Law Executive Education is offering up to 50 scholarships to underrepresented members of the legal community for General Counsel (GC) University.

The scholarship application is now closed. Recipients were notified on May 20, 2024. General registration for GC University opens on Thursday, May 23, 2024.

Questions? Please contact [email protected].

Tuition & Discounts

General Tuition


UC Berkeley Alumni and Government, Nonprofit, and University Employees*

Applies to past participants of paid Berkeley Law Executive Education courses.

$1,275 Save 15%

Partner Organization Members*

$1,275 Save 15%

Group Rate*

Available for groups of three or more people from the same organization

$1,275 Save 15%

*For all special rates (i.e. UC Berkeley alumni and government, nonprofit, and university employees; groups; or partners), please email [email protected] for instructions to access your tuition category. To register a group, please email [email protected]. All special rates are discounted off of the general tuition.

Sallie Mae Financing

If you are interested in financing this course, Sallie Mae provides competitive education loan programs for credit-qualified borrowers. For more information and to apply, visit the Sallie Mae website. If you decide to pursue such financing, please submit your application to Sallie first and then contact us at [email protected]. We will provide additional instructions on completing your registration.

Professional Development Sponsorship

If your employer provides professional development opportunities and funding, we highly recommend asking them to subsidize the cost of tuition for the course. This certificate program is an excellent professional development and networking opportunity, and your employer may be willing to cover some, or all, of the costs. You are welcome to customize this template for your purposes.

Certificates & MCLE

Certificate Type

Certificate of Completion

Participants who complete all required course elements will receive a certificate of completion from Berkeley Law Executive Education.


12 Hours

This program has been approved by the California State Bar to offer up to 12 credit hours of MCLE. Attorneys from other states will need to contact their local bar to verify their own certification requirements.

Expert Contributors

Headshot of Minnie Alexander

Minnie Alexander

General Counsel at REI

Headshot of Julie Gruber

Julie Gruber

Chief Legal and Compliance Officer at Gap Inc.

Headshot of Brad Lerman

Brad Lerman

General Counsel at Starbucks

Headshot of Danielle McCoy

Danielle McCoy

General Counsel at Fannie Mae

Headshot of April Miller Boise

April Miller Boise

Chief Legal Officer at Intel Corporation

Headshot of Trâm Phi

Trâm Phi

General Counsel at Databricks

Headshot of Sandra Phillips Rogers

Sandra Phillips Rogers

Chief Legal Officer at Toyota North America

Headshot of Robert Schlossman

Robert Schlossman

Chief Legal Officer at Zscaler

Headshot of Shana Simmons

Shana Simmons

Chief Legal Officer at Zendesk

Headshot of Clint Smith

Clint Smith

Chief Legal Officer at Discord

Headshot of Kristin Sverchek

Kristin Sverchek

President at Lyft

Headshot of Adine Varah

Adine Varah

General Counsel at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Headshot of Rishi Varma

Rishi Varma

Senior Vice President and Chief Legal and Compliance Officer at Cargill

Headshot of Sean West

Sean West

Co-Founder at Hence Technologies

Headshot of Tony West

Tony West

Chief Legal Officer at Uber

Headshot of David Zapolsky

David Zapolsky

General Counsel at Amazon

Lead Instructors

Headshot of Seth Jaffe

Seth Jaffe

Lecturer, University of California, Berkeley (Former General Counsel of Levi Strauss & Co.)

Headshot of Mark LeHocky

Mark LeHocky

Lecturer, University of California, Berkeley (Former General Counsel of Ross Stores)

Course Facilitators

Headshot of Irene Liu

Irene Liu

Executive in Residence at Berkeley Law Executive Education and Founder of Hypergrowth GC

Headshot of Adam Sterling

Adam Sterling

Assistant Dean at Berkeley Law


For disability accommodation requests and information, please contact us at [email protected]. Please attempt to make your service request with as much advance notice as possible.