In his grandfather’s shoes: W. Scott Nehs paves a successful legal career

Nehs_ScottW. Scott Nehs had an idyllic childhood. He grew up in a log cabin along the Rock River in southern Wisconsin. He spent his winters playing hockey and focused on golf whenever the weather allowed. Both of his parents were teachers—so the family of five spent long relaxing summer breaks together playing sports, being active and traveling—often to Ohio to visit Nehs’ grandparents.

It was during those summer trips to Ohio—when Nehs spent as much time as he could with his grandfather, William C. Leonard—that shaped the career he would have later in life. Bill Leonard, a local attorney, was not only a well-respected pillar of his community, he was also an extremely proud and involved grandfather. He would let Nehs tag along with him to his law office, a gesture that made an enormous impression on his young grandson.

“In my mind, I thought I was helping him at work. I realize now, in his mind, it was more about showing off his grandson,” Nehs says. “But it was on those trips that I saw him interacting with his partners and clients. His approach was that law is a serious business, but it’s ultimately about helping people solve problems. He also felt it was important to keep a sense of humor.”  More 

Survey says: In-house counsel embrace responsibility, desire advancement opportunities

Evers-Legal-Executive-Recruiter-May18-Your-CareerAs any in-house counsel is likely to tell you, their role in both a legal department and the overall organization presents both rewards and challenges. As highly educated professionals—often with years of experience already under their belts—in-house counsel at all levels of a company have important jobs that require specialized skills. But are they happy in their careers?

At Evers Legal, that’s a question we’ve pondered for a long time—and two years ago, we decided to ask our subscribers in our first-ever Evers Legal Career Satisfaction Survey. This year, we asked again.

Not surprisingly, and just as we learned from our results in 2016, in-house counsel at all levels—from legal counsel to chief legal officer—have an above-average career satisfaction level of 3.43, on a scale of 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest). And they find their jobs highly satisfying in many ways. More 

Adjunct Counsel positions

In addition to direct hire traditional recruiting, we offer an Adjunct Counsel service for law departments with project needs or headcount restrictions.  This is on-site work as a valued member of the departments we serve… not the lower end document review contract attorney work (which is often off-site or via a law firm).

Since this blog gets circulated and read by other search and staffing firms, we have to keep client names out of the following descriptions.  Otherwise, the GC’s at those companies will get hit with unsolicited calls and resumes.  The following are real openings, immediate needs with excellent law departments in the Chicago area:

Senior level (10+ years) client facing operational support… commercial contracts, counseling, and government compliance.  Title IX or other higher education experience a plus.  Full-time, in the Loop, duration estimate 8 to 12 weeks.

Junior level (2 to 6 years) client facing operational support… primarily commercial contracts.  Client is a web based commercial enterprise.  Full-time, in the Loop, duration through end of 2018.  Possibility of extension into 2019 or direct hire conversion.

Senior level (10+ years) minimal client interface… securities expertise (’33/’34 Act) required for proxy season support.  On-site in Loop, part-time with flexibility on exact hours, duration estimate through August.

Compensation:  Our lowest hourly pay rate is $60, for junior level work only.  Most of our Adjunct Counsel are paid $80 to $100 per hour, with a few assignments calling for pay rates above $100 per hour.  In some cases we engage Adjunct Counsel as independent contractors (especially for those attorneys who are also juggling other clients), but most of our Adjunct Counsel are W2 employees and benefits eligible.  Most of our assignments are full-time and unsuitable for attorneys with an active law firm practice.

In addition to the three active openings listed above, we of course welcome general inquiries and resume submissions for consideration as new opportunities arise.  Send resumes to info@everslegal.com.  Thank you.

 

GCs: How to manage new hire expectations

Evers-Legal-In-house-Legal-Recuiter-May18-Culture-FitThe results from our 2018 Job Satisfaction Survey make it abundantly clear that most in-house counsel crave upward mobility within their current law departments.

When we present a new opportunity to a candidate, especially if the position is at a Senior Counsel or Assistant General Counsel level, one of the first questions they inevitably ask is the ladder climb one: What is the likelihood and time frame for promotion? They ask this question well before we even get to the first interview. Experienced in-house counsel are more realistic and logical when evaluating the lay of the land vs. straight-from-a-law-firm candidates, but that’s simply because in-house counsel have seen the dynamic first hand. The bottom line is that everyone asks.

So, if you are the General Counsel seeking to make a new hire, how do you manage promotion and title expectations? Unless you are making the hire with successorship specifically in mind, you want to be careful while also using this as an opportunity to test on culture fit. More 

Senior Counsel / Univar

Our client, Univar (NYSE: UNVR) has exclusively retained Evers Legal Search to source and screen candidates for this Senior Counsel position.  Interested candidates should please email a resume to info@everslegal.com.  Univar is based in Downers Grove, IL.  This is a fabulous position for individuals who wish to practice law differently and truly become a part of the business he/she serves:

 

Univar – It starts with great chemistry.

 

  Univar is more than a distribution company – we’re a leading, global partner dedicated to improving quality of life for our customers through the products, expertise, and relationships that serve the world’s most essential industries. Founded in 1924, with global headquarters in Downers Grove, IL, Univar generated $8+ billion in sales in 2017 – securing the #1 market position in North America and the #2 market position in Europe.

 

   Creating great chemistry is not just about the innovative products and services we safely deliver to customers around the world. It also takes people – people like you – and today, our worldwide team of more than 8,000 employees is helping build a company where the best people want to work. If you’re looking for an experience where your actions will make a positive difference every day, you’ve come to the right place.

 

 The One Univar Legal Team

 

            The Vision of Univar’s legal team is to prevent problems.  Our lawyers think critically about their roles as business partners. We seek applicants who embrace process improvement and question prevailing professional norms.

 

            We forge legal and non-legal resources into a cohesive and consistent team committed to Univar’s success through delivered effectiveness, relentless efficiency, disciplined rigor, seamless collaboration, customer focus, constant improvement, creative disruption and unyielding integrity.  

 

Senior Counsel

 

            Reporting to our Deputy General Counsel and supporting Univar’s U.S. business operations, our new Senior Counsel will be a generalist capable of providing legal support for a broad range of areas. This position will also coordinate external legal services to ensure cost-effective and efficient service delivery to the business. We are looking for someone who can ‘roll up their sleeves’, work in a fast-paced environment, provide quality legal advice through a pragmatic and realistic lens, and is solution-oriented.  We value process improvement over answering “interesting” questions of law.  

 

            Responsibilities:

 

  •        Draft, review and negotiate a broad range of commercial agreements;
  •        Provide guidance and legal advice on the handling of customer and supplier claims and disputes;
  •        Review advertising and marketing materials to ensure compliance with legal requirements;
  •        Provide assistance as needed in relation to acquisitions and divestitures, joint ventures and other strategic alliances;
  •       Provide support and advice to human resources personnel in relation to the handling of various employment-related issues;
  •      Provide support and advice in relation to regulatory compliance matters;
  •      Provide training to company personnel on substantive legal topics;
  •     Assist with various compliance investigations, as needed;
  •    Help with the creation and implementation of legal policies and protocols;

 

Position requirements:

 

  •         A JD and license in good standing.
  •         5 – 10 years of “generalist” practice experience, preferably a mix of law-firm experience and in-house experience.
  •       Non-legal business or other “real world” experience prior to law school favored.
  •       Experience in any or all of the following subject matter areas is not a pre-requisite for consideration, but will strengthen your candidacy:  real estate, environmental, intellectual property, employment. 
  •      Culture fit is an essential requirement.  We will favor candidates who are not only open minded, but who embrace innovative approaches to the delivery of legal services. 
  •     Effective verbal and written communication and presentation styles to interact with diverse audiences, including external customers, senior management, outside attorneys and business associates.
  •    Demonstrable skill in negotiating and understanding contract provisions and risk allocation.
  •   Ability to operate within a matrixed management environment.
  •   Ability to multi-task and work effectively and efficiently to meet deadlines in a dynamic and fast-paced environment.
  •   Strong work ethic with the initiative to work independently.
  •   High level of integrity supported by sound judgement and ethics.

Univar is an equal opportunity employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against based on their race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or other protected classification.

 

We offer comprehensive benefits to employees including medical, dental, STD, LTD and life insurance, 401k, generous vacation and sick leave and much more.

Diana Chafey: An accomplished GC discusses her legal career

Chafey_Diana_TWG_944 (4)If anyone fits the description of being “self-directed,” it’s Diana Chafey. She grew up in a military family with no lawyers around her, but decided in fifth grade that she would one day practice law. In her young mind, a legal degree was as versatile as they come—she could likely apply a legal education to any field she may decide to pursue.

During her senior year at Arizona State University, Chafey made another firm decision—she was going to live in Chicago. She had always wanted to move to a large metropolis and -after visiting the Windy City with a friend her senior year, she found the perfect new hometown.

Chafey took a year off after her college graduation to work as a paralegal at a big law firm in Phoenix, then headed to Valparaiso University Law School, about an hour outside of Chicago. Not surprisingly, her career flourished upon graduation. More 

The GC who started as a “temp”

Evers-Legal-Executive-Search-Culture-Fit-Feb-2018When Stephen Sitley was named senior vice president, general counsel and chief compliance officer at Sears Holdings Corp., my mind raced through the Way Back machine to a fond memory of my roots as a legal recruiter.

In 1993, I was cutting my teeth and learning this business with a legal staffing firm called The Wallace Law Registry (now part of Kelly Services). My boss and mentor Shelley Wallace had landed a big fish in the Chicago in-house legal market—an opportunity to recruit talent for Sears. This goes back to a time when Sears’ headquarters was based in a tall tower bearing its name. Sears was under a hiring freeze, so Shelley convinced the general counsel at the time to try an unconventional approach to staffing his department—use something called “contract attorneys.”

My marching orders as Shelley’s new and inexperienced legal recruiter in Chicago … find “permanent placement” caliber talent willing to work for law departments via a third-party employer. We avoided using the word “temporary,” as that carried a negative perception on the talent level and role for which the lawyer was deployed. Law departments pioneered the use of contract attorneys in the ’90s, long before law firms began using a lower paid variety for dead end document review work. More 

Quality over dollar signs: What do we know about in-house counsel career satisfaction?

Evers-Legal-In-House-Legal-Career-Advice-Feb-2018Career satisfaction. What does it really mean? Finding happiness in any job means different things to different people. While money is often an important source of career satisfaction, it’s not always at the top of the list.

At Evers Legal Search, we are conducting our second-ever Career Satisfaction Survey for in-house counsel to find out what truly makes in-house lawyers happy in their work. Click here to take the survey now!

We learned a lot from our first survey two years ago. Most notably, that in-house counsel value many things in their careers above financial compensation—such as responsibilities, supporting the company’s mission and working with a great team.  More 

Adtalem, Senior Corporate Counsel (Higher Education)

This is an industry specific search.  We seek an attorney with Higher Education experience.  Either for-profit or non-profit experience.  You will support several Title IV Institutions in a broad ranging role that includes:  Serve as Board Counsel to Board of Trustees; handle industry specific commercial agreements; advise on accreditor and licensing issues, sponsored research, and other matters related to higher education and for-profit education issues; develop and modify policies and best practices for compliance with industry regulations and the disciplinary process.

Competitive compensation includes a generous Annual equity grant.  5+ years of legal experience, minimum 3 years of Higher Education industry experience.  Ideally, you will have experience with consumer protection laws, accreditor and licensing compliance, and commercial agreements.

Adtalem recently moved its headquarters into beautiful new space in downtown Chicago, and this is a new position with a growing department.  Search is national, relocation is available.

EVERS LEGAL SEARCH has been exclusively retained to source candidates for this opening with Adtalem.  Inquiries made directly to Adtalem will be routed to our search firm.

Email resume to info@everslegal.com or call 312-225-1144.  Thank you.

From a high school mock trial to the GC seat of Dyson: Jason Brown

JLBrown 2015By the time Minneapolis-area native Jason Brown was in high school, he already knew he wanted to be a lawyer. During a civics class his sophomore year, Brown participated in a mock trial, in which he served as lead defense counsel. From preparing for trial and creating presentations to participating in deep strategic thinking and gaining skills that could serve to help those in need, Brown fell in love with the work and the idea he could actually make a living doing it.

Around that same time, Brown’s mother introduced him to an old childhood friend of hers who was a professor at Howard University in Washington, D.C. After the professor gave the 16-year-old a personal tour of the Howard campus, Brown fell in love again—this time with one of the country’s prestigious colleges.

Brown’s destiny was set. After high school, he attended Howard University—where he excelled as a student—and immediately upon graduation, went straight to Howard University School of Law. “Being an African American kid from the Twin Cities, it was a huge and strikingly sharp contrast to go from there to an historically black college that is so rich in history as Howard,” Brown says. “I jumped at the chance to do something that would be different and challenging.” More