As more companies put legal recruiting in the hands of HR, help me help them

Culture Fit (Oct) art“I would like to use you, but our HR team is in charge of the opening,” a general counsel we respect and have known for years said to me during a recent phone call. This is not a new development, of course. Many organizations fill law department positions without using any outside search firm. But not too long ago, the law department always took charge of selecting the search firm when, indeed, the company decided to use one. Accordingly, we have focused for 20 years on building relationships with you—lawyers and law department leaders.

However, our firm is not well known within HR circles. I intend to change that. By building relationships with HR leaders, I hope we will earn the right to serve more of your law department’s needs. The challenge is getting in front of the right people for introductory meetings in advance of needs arising. Like all executives, HR leaders resist unsolicited inquiries. More 

Rich Veys’ winding career path led him to the GC seat at Society of Actuaries

Rich VeysRich Veys knew one thing when he was entering college: He was going to be an engineer. As a high school student, he excelled in math and science, so his obvious course of action was to follow in the footsteps of his dad and older brother, both of whom were engineers.

But once the Omaha-native arrived at the University of Nebraska and began studying political science, he developed an interest in social issues. “It was the early 1970s, and there was a lot more social consciousness at the time,” Veys explains. “Social issues were huge.”

It was at that point that his focus began to shift from engineering to public policy. As he approached graduation, higher education in engineering was off the table and Veys found himself deciding between a master’s degree in public administration and juris doctorate. A year and a half later, he landed at the University of Illinois College of Law and started down the path that would lead him from Omaha to Chicago to Ohio and back to Chicago, touching computer technology, equipment leasing, management consulting and consumer products industries all along the way. More 

The art of giving: 3 Reasons pro bono work is excellent for your career

YourCareerimageJust because you’re a busy lawyer in a bustling legal department doesn’t mean pro bono work isn’t an option for you.  Pro bono isn’t just for the law firm lawyers.  In fact, quite the opposite is true.

Over the years, I’ve talked to countless in-house counsel who set aside time to take on pro bono projects—and, not coincidentally, these lawyers tend to be the most satisfied (and successful) in their careers.

Sure, pro bono work feels good. Helping people who are unable to afford legal services they may desperately need—such as writing a will, fighting an eviction or foreclosure proceeding, or handling complicated immigration paperwork, to name a few—is something most lawyers enter law school assuming they would do. But when “life happens,” it’s easy to put pro bono work on the back burner. More 

Compliance, Compliance, Compliance

CultureFitimageShould a general counsel also hold the chief compliance officer (CCO) title? Associations that have sprung up in support of the CCO function say definitely no and advocate for a direct reporting relationship between a CCO and CEO, while other experts believe there are strong benefits to combining these roles.

Objective research offers insight into how companies are actually approaching the topic.

And that is: There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. A Deloitte survey—released earlier this year, and the best stats I could find on the topic—states that only 17 percent of CCOs also hold the GC title. More 

Congratulations Amy Sohl

Congratulations to Amy Sohl, who starts as Senior Counsel with IRi Worldwide on September 15th.  Amy had been at IRi on assignment via our insourcing platform for six months, and we are very happy to report this win-win outcome.  Amy’s background includes a JD from the University of Chicago, teeth cutting with Vedder Price, and several years in-house with BP.  Not too shabby, right?

I thank our VP of Recruiting, Meredith Haydon, for recommending Amy to IRi.

Evers to speak at ACC Kentucky Chapter, Sept 26

If you are a member of the ACC chapter in Kentucky, I look forward to meeting you on Sept. 26 at Churchill Downs.  I will be on the 11:30 panel titled, “Me 2.0:  The Importance of a Digital Profile for Career Development.”

Since this is your “Day at the Races” event, I also hope to show off the handicapping skills I learned from my uncle growing up near The Meadowlands in New Jersey.  Who says we cannot mix business with pleasure?

Thank you to E.M. Lysonge, Vice President of Legal Affairs with Churchill Downs Incorporated, for the speaking invitation.  I look forward to it.  Mike

M&A role: The WhiteWave Foods Company (Denver)

Evers Legal has been exclusively retained to assist Denver based WhiteWave Foods (NYSE:  WWAV) fill a newly created Vice President & Senior Counsel position.  This opportunity is directly related to WhiteWave’s growth.  The company currently includes a robust portfolio of premium food and beverage brands, including organic leaders Horizon Organic, Silk, and Earthbound Farm.  We seek an M&A attorney to support continued growth.  This position will report to an exceptional Deputy General Counsel, and the winner will spend much of his or her time working directly with the EVP of Corporate Strategy.

7+ years of experience required.  In-house experience a plus but not required.  Email mike@everslegal.com with your questions and to express your interest.  All inquiries will be treated as strictly confidential.

ITT Deputy GC Hufford places high value on mentoring

wendyphotoWendy Hufford likes the idea of giving back what she’s received—and many young lawyers can thank her for that.

As the Vice President, Deputy General Counsel and Assistant Corporate Secretary of global manufacturing company ITT Corp., Hufford owns a lot of responsibility. Throughout her legal career, she has cultivated a wide set of skills that primed her for her current post. But she also credits her focus on litigation and regulatory issues earlier in her career with setting her up to be the lawyer she is today—and she shares that wealth of knowledge with other young lawyers in her department and beyond.

She herself had good role models. Hufford grew up in a small family-oriented suburb of New York City with very supportive parents, who encouraged their daughter to work hard to achieve her goals. More 

Reality check: Almost all employers Google candidates

YourCareer imageUntil recently, it was our practice at Evers Legal to stick with traditional background and reference checks. We did not Google our candidates before presenting them to clients. We felt, honestly, that we’d rather not know how they spend their limited amount of personal time. It’s none of our business.

Then, as you may suspect of the direction this story is leading, we ended up with a bit of egg on our faces. Without getting into the details, suffice it to say, one of our clients discovered some online information about a candidate we had presented for consideration—and it wasn’t pretty. More