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Four Steps to Optimize Your Legal Department


Most Unreasonable Expectations Placed on Legal Departments

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Top Seven Skills Required by Direct Reports to the General Counsel

Change. Transformation. Disruption. Innovation. Today’s buzzwords ring throughout corporate America. Yet these terms aptly describe what I experienced as a long-tenured general counsel in a company that transitioned from wholly-owned to private, to a company owned by the federal government, and finally a public company. I served under five different CEOs and a board of directors that turned over at least four times, each of the entities requiring a different set of skills. Facing numerous changes and challenges, I knew that one constant would ensure success: surrounding myself with a great in-house legal team. To build a good team, I created this checklist to review when hiring or promoting direct reports.


The General Counsel Interview – Tips to Get to the Finish Line

The agony of defeat is tough for anyone to swallow, especially for the top lawyers we work with who are driven to win. Not making it past the first round of interviews in a general counsel search is frustrating. Coming in second place and not reaching the finish line is even more painful. Your life has been on hold for months; your vacation days have evaporated; and now you must inform your family and confidants that you were not the chosen one. You might ask yourself if it was all worth it, and the answer is, simply, YES! Having spoken to thousands of general counsels, no one has ever expressed regret over the path it took to achieve the top leadership position in their law department and there are thousands more striving to take on the challenge.


The Rise of the GC: Recruiting and Paying Your Top Legal Talent: Webinar Recording

Our recent webinar showcased an expert panel discussing how growth in responsibilities and influence impacts recruitment and pay for top legal talent, based on findings from the new Equilar and BarkerGilmore report, General Counsel Pay Trends. Click here to access the WEBINAR RECORDING, and review the REPORT.


Seven Important Selection Criteria for Hiring In-House Counsel

When it comes time to hire, what are the most important criteria to use when selecting someone who will thrive in your organization? While credentials, work experience, and great references are important, they only scratch the surface of hiring the ideal candidate. What else should you consider when making the final hiring decision? To answer this question, I surveyed successful GCs from multiple industries across the country for their perspectives. A special thanks to those who shared their insights for this article. Read on for some of their tried-and-true evaluation metrics.


Thirteen Favorite In-House Counsel Interview Questions

One of the most important responsibilities of a General Counsel and other managing counsel is building a team. Get it right and you will have a team that delivers significant value to the organization. Get it wrong and the negative impact on your productivity and reputation can be significant.

As an executive search consultant, my job is to deliver a diverse slate of exceptional candidates who all have the qualifications necessary to meet the needs of the role, and, as best as possible, the personality that will fit within the culture of the organization. Once I have presented the candidates to my client, it is then their responsibility to interview and ultimately select who they want to hire.


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

In case you missed it, I am giving you another chance to read this blog from last year. The content provided by top GCs has proven to resonate with law departments of all sizes and set a record number of views. And, as it turns out, lawyers love to learn from others’ mistakes.

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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