Seven Important Selection Criteria for Hiring In-House Counsel

 

Thirteen Favorite In-House Counsel Interview Questions

 

In Case You Missed It: 14 Top Mistakes Made by New In-House Counsel

 

How to Succeed at Succession Planning: 3 Key Steps

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The Importance of Building and Leading High Performance Legal Teams

We are definitely on to something at BarkerGilmore. According to Erin Harrison, former editor-in-chief for Legaltech News, as more legal work remains in-house across corporate America, “legal departments are running more like a business, and the latest figures prove it.” The numbers to which she is referring are cited in the 8th Annual Law Department Operations Survey conducted by the Blickstein Group and Huron Legal. 

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Why You Need a Legal Department Assessment

Leading former General Counsel agree that holding legal department assessments at regular intervals helped them to streamline their legal services, articulate departmental value, enhance communication with executive leadership, and identify and retain top legal talent. For law departments that do not have a prescribed legal operations function, conducting regular assessments is vital to maintaining the health of the department, and promoting development.

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14 Top Mistakes Made by New In-house Counsel

After reading and writing many articles on best practices for in-house counsel and compliance officers, I decided to look at development from a different angle. My father impressed upon me to learn from my mistakes, and from the mistakes of others. This is the first of a multi-part article addressing the most common mistakes made by lawyers new to becoming in-house counsel — mistakes often made by seasoned in-house veterans, too — and ideal development action items.

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Charting Your Career Path to GC

As a seasoned legal recruiter with over 20 years of experience, I've learned that a lot of very smart attorneys make the same not-so-smart mistake: They fail to understand the attributes expected of a strong general counsel.

That's because the skills that make for a crackerjack law firm lawyer and a high-performing in-house attorney -- obsessive attention to detail, tactical execution, focus on risk -- are not the same traits required of a successful General Counsel.  As chief counsel, you're expected to serve as a trusted business partner and advisor to the C-suite, influencing, and executing upon, the company's long-term growth plans.

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Top Five Tips for Assessing In-House Counsel

As a recruiter, I've developed a rather messy Pavlovian response when a resume lands on my desk featuring an Ivy League law school and a major law firm.

But, the truth is, you can't simply hire associates from white glove firms and assume they'll be a good cultural fit for your organization. That's because the qualities that make for a high-performing associate – exercising prudence, racking up billable hours, hardline negotiating, etc.  – are not always likely to enthrall your senior leadership committee.

So how do you ensure that you're building a legal team that is ready, willing and able to support key business goals?

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What Color is Your In-House Parachute?

Chances are when you began your law firm career, you dreamed about making partner. Next would be managing partner. And then, the icing on the proverbial cake: name partner. It was all part of the 20-year plan – and everything seemed to be falling precisely in place.

After all, you graduated college with a near-perfect GPA, aced your LSAT and got accepted into a competitive law school. You finished in the top third of your class and participated in a leading law journal, landing an enviable summer internship. And you parlayed that internship into a choice, first-year associate position at a top firm. 

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Suggested Resources


2018

IN-HOUSE COUNSEL COMPENSATION REPORT

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How to Build
a World-Class
Legal Department

GENERAL COUNSEL
PANEL ANSWERS
5 KEY QUESTIONS

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The Rise
of the GC:

FROM LEGAL
ADVISOR TO
STRATEGIC ADVISOR

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