How to ask for—and get—the raise you want

YourCareer-Jan15-smallIt’s safe to say, the economy is experiencing a real boost. According to Department of Labor statistics, in each month of last year, employers added an average of 246,000 jobs—making 2014 the strongest year for employment since 1999.

As we head into 2015, we do it with the momentum of a growing economy and jobs market at our backs.  It’s the right time to look at your paycheck and ask yourself, “Should I ask for a raise?”

Of course everyone wants a raise and feels deserving of it, but the question really begs a political assessment of your specific question. Don’t jump to requesting a raise if you have reason to believe your position may be insecure, or if your company happens to be struggling.  More 

10 Career insights from 10 successful GCs

Throughout 2014, I sat down with 10 fascinating individuals who also happen to be successful legal department leaders. From a former Dallas Cowboys football player to a former 2nd Lieutenant in the US Marine Corp with several tours under his belt to a former X-ray technician-turned-options trader—each of our interviewees had a unique, and often surprising, story to tell.

Although this is a very diverse group of individuals, they all have at least one thing in common: They are now accomplished lawyers serving as leaders in their legal departments and mentors to the young lawyers and business people around them.

In addition to telling the unique story of each GC featured in our Counsel Q&As, we like to relay advice from our profiled guests for achieving similar success. More 

Baxter, Senior Counsel (M&A), Boston

Evers Legal has been exclusively engaged by Baxter to help fill a newly created Senior Counsel position, to be located in the company’s new Cambridge, MA research facility serving the BioScience side of the company — which will be spun out in late 2015 as Baxalta.

We prefer candidates who are local to the Boston area… seeking highly qualified attorneys with major law firm M&A experience.  The role includes supporting the core BioScience business as well as Baxter Ventures, which invests in early-stage healthcare firms.  Ideal candidates will be 6+ years out of law school.  In-house experience desirable but not required.  This opportunity is ideal for a senior law firm associate or junior partner who wants to make the right move into an in-house career.  Compensation is strong and includes significant equity.

Daily activities will include licensing, business development support, outside counsel management on deal work, and strategic counseling to the R&D team.  Position will report to a senior level attorney at Baxter HQ in Deerfield, IL (north suburban Chicago), and travel to Baxter HQ will be required.

This is a uniquely exciting opportunity… you will be well positioned as a key player as the BioScience division of Baxter becomes a separate publicly traded company (Baxalta) next year.  Call Mike Evers at 312-225-1144 with any questions or email your resume to

Commercial Contracts (Chicago area)

Our law department clients in Chicagoland are once again showing an appetite for experienced commercial generalists with in-house experience who are open to working via our secondment service offering.  In a nutshell, we pay better than ordinary “contract attorney” staffing firms in order to get the best available attorneys in this category.  We are particularly interested in candidates who want to work in distant suburbs, such as Naperville to the west and Lake Forest to the north.  Please send a resume and call us for a conversation about our non-traditional placement opportunities.  A significant percentage of our secondments have turned into direct hire placements, although we can never guarantee that outcome.

3 Big reasons for headcount growth in 2015

CultureFitJan15-smallThe conditions for law department growth have never been better. So, if you are going to lobby your CEO for additional headcount, this is the year to do it.

Companies are always cautious about expanding law department headcount. But the three drivers required for hiring are all in place:

  1. Revenue growth.
  2. Employee growth generally.
  3. A continuing desire to reduce outside legal spend and bill analysis, supporting greater use of in-house counsel. More 

“Should I stay or should I go?” is much more than a yes or no question

YourCareerDec14Whether you’re looking for a new position or a recruiter unexpectedly reaches out to you with an opportunity, the idea of a new job is consistently both exciting and terrifying.

Taking a new job often comes with huge risks: It means leaving your comfort zone and engaging in the unexpected; it means forming new relationships with new co-workers in a new office; it means working in an unknown corporate culture that may or may not be a good fit. But not seeking out or accepting a new position—particularly for those who have spent several years in the same role—also raises some important questions: Are there better opportunities out there that I may be missing out on? Does my current employer value the work I’m currently doing? Can I do more meaningful work here or somewhere else? Am I being compensated appropriately? More 

Pedro DeJesus takes an unconventional path to the GC seat

Photo - Pedro DeJesusGoing from x-ray technician to Executive Vice president, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Tampico Beverages, Inc., a multinational beverage company, it’s safe to say Pedro DeJesus chose the road less traveled.

As far as childhood education goes, DeJesus was far from typical. He started elementary school a year early, and by the time he was finishing up second grade, his teacher informed Pedro’s parents that he was too advanced for third. He jumped immediately into fourth grade.

A high school graduate at only 16, DeJesus really didn’t know what he wanted to do next. So he enrolled in a local community college on Chicago’s Northwest side and studied to become an x-ray technologist. After obtaining an associate’s degree, DeJesus worked for several years as an x-ray tech, but got the itch to do something different. A stroll past the Chicago Mercantile Exchange provided the answer. More 

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. More 

Congratulations Susan Hallsby

We are pleased to thank and congratulate Susan Hallsby on winning a long-term assignment with the law department of Hub Group, the Oak Brook based transportation industry leader.

Susan is an in-house veteran with a wide range of commercial experience, including contracts, transactions and litigation management.  Her previous employment includes Dow Chemical, and Assistant General Counsel with OSI Industries.

Call us at 312-225-1144 to talk about how we can bring the right resource (on our payroll or direct hire) to your company.