Santa’s helpers: recommendations for your law department

CultureFitDec14Ho ho ho. We used to come bearing holiday gifts at this time of year. But Sarbanes-Oxley pretty much squashed corporate gift giving. In 2012, a client even resisted the delivery of customized M&Ms onto which we put the client’s logo, worried it might violate the company’s gift policy. Accordingly, Evers Legal abandoned holiday gift giving all together.

But this is not a “bah humbug” column, and I assure you that I’m not Scrooge. So, instead of candy, I will now spread good cheer in the form of high quality recommendations you can use in 2015. You are all excellent at selecting outside counsel and don’t need me to make additional suggestions on that front. But there are other services that you use, or from which your company can truly benefit, with less frequency. And when you use these kinds of very specialized services, you really want to get it right.

My top six recommendations are as follows, and know that the advice from yours truly is offered with you in mind (not referral fees):

  • Global Performance Partners: Thought leadership may be an overused term of art, but when it matters, it matters a lot. Check out the bio for co-founder Roger Crockett. Roger and his consultants improve workplace culture, leading to increased productivity and fewer disgruntled employees. Especially if your company is struggling with diversity-related challenges, your law department can offer training and solutions, not just warnings and employment law advice.
  • New Vistas Consulting: Very few executive coaches understand the unique world of law and the general counsel’s role. They are not specialists, and they are definitely not Susan Sneider. In addition to executive coaching, Susan is a marvelous facilitator for department retreats.

You can tell from my first two recommendations that I lean toward smaller, boutique service providers and specialists. I do have that bias. But I also recognize when bigger is better, and when the best is the best.

  • Challenger Gray & Christmas: If you need to go through a reduction-in-force or even let go a specific underperforming lawyer, you will want to offer outplacement help. For that, I have high confidence in my friend John Challenger.  John and his firm are at the top of their game.
  • Huron Legal’s Jon Resnick: For advice and counsel on the right technologies for your law department, talk with Jon, the brightest legal tech mind I know (because he speaks in English, not techie), and he will either have the right solution or unselfishly point you in the best direction.

For executive search and investigative services, my picks are mid-sized firms that offer depth with a personal touch:

  • Slayton Search Partners: The highest quality executive search without the headaches and conflict limitations of the big four. Ask for John Nimesheim.

Oprah has her “favorite things.” Well, I have my favorite people—professionals who can help you solve the difficult problems. These are folks who understand how to deliver client service at the Fortune 500 level. They add value, not drama. This list is a start. Please ask me for additional ideas and recommendations to address almost any challenge your department is facing.

And Happy Holidays!

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