Flex time: the pros of secondments and implementing them successfully

March image (ME)Although we are primarily known for our traditional search work (since 1997), Evers Legal is now in its third year of also providing secondment services for our law department clients. We have enjoyed several successes, learned from a few mistakes, and now I feel ready to write with some confidence on how best to incorporate “flex-talent” into your law department.

But first, I wish to thank our clients who said “yes” to this service early in the roll-out, my friends at companies such as CNH, Exelon, Tenneco, CareerBuilder, DeVry and others. Your trust in our ability to get it right humbles me. More 

Chicago: commercial contracts experience sought

Although we are known primarily for our national executive search service for law departments, our complementary and lesser known offering is growing significantly.  Specifically, we have several experienced in-house attorneys on secondment to law departments. These are primarily in-house commercial generalists filling operational roles during client staffing shortages, and occasionally on what are known as “temp to perm” option assignments. See more details.

Our need here is primarily in the Chicago area. You would be on our payroll (not the client’s, not a 1099). We pay well versus the lower end document review shops, but we generally pay a bit below Axiom. We believe we have found the correct “sweet spot” pricing for secondment services and that our combination of talent quality and fair billing rates is largely responsible for the growth of this service line. You will earn (either hourly or fixed fee, depending upon the assignment) well above six figures annualized.

If you wish to be considered for assignment work, please email Meredith at mhaydon@everslegal.com. Consider this a call for attorneys at all levels of experience (other than entry level), as we try to have as many options as possible available for our clients as needs arise. Thank you.

Terrific panel assembled for corporate culture discussion

Mark your calendars for Superconference in Chicago, May 13 – 14.  I’ll have more to say about this panel in my April “Evers eNews” column, but for now here are the details (it’s a cut and paste from the conference web site):

EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT – Beyond Diversity: Creating Your Department’s Culture

  • May 14, 2014: 11:30 am12:45 pm

Too often, companies think of diversity only within the confines of strategic hiring practices — versus creating a culture of inclusion. This session will dig deeper into the unique benefits of a multicultural workforce within a globalized economy; overcoming barriers that hinder inclusion; attracting diverse talent and how best to promote long term success. Join this session for a very candid conversation.

Moderator: Mike EversEvers Legal

Alex Green discusses his path to the GC seat at CareerBuilder

Alex GreenAlex Green always knew he wanted to be a lawyer. In fact, he always knew he wanted to be a general counsel. Since high school, he recalls, becoming a lawyer was his goal—and nothing was going to get in the way.

But his path to the GC seat wasn’t exactly a typical one. Green graduated from Indiana University with a degree in business in 1987. But before jumping into a suit and tie, he donned a different uniform—that of a Dallas Cowboys football player. Green signed as a free agent, played for half a season, then headed to his hometown of Chicago.

In the Windy City, Green landed a job at American National Bank and began preparing for the LSAT. The next year, he headed to Northwestern University Law School and started down the path that would ultimately lead to the top legal spot at CareerBuilder, the largest online employment website in the United States. More 

4 tips to help lawyers get the full value LinkedIn offers

linkedinLinkedIn is no longer an optional platform. It crossed the tipping point long ago and is now a core tool used by third party recruiters and employers alike to identify and research candidates. And if you are actively interviewing, expect every interviewer to check out your LinkedIn profile.

Putting your best foot forward on LinkedIn is not time-consuming, but you should do it thoughtfully and purposefully. Here are four key tips for getting it right.

1. The photo matters. Like it or not, your headshot is your first impression. Choose your LinkedIn photo accordingly. Go with a simple business look, preferably with a smile included. If you don’t have an appropriate public relations shot on file, spend time and money to have one taken. More 

Interview checklist: 3 attributes of the ideal candidate

CheckMany logic driven attempts have been made to assess culture fit objectively: personality tests, skills based tests, and situational interviewing strategies. Such exercises can be useful, and I’ll address them in future columns. No matter the process, however, I believe that hiring is far more art than science. Trusting your gut is the correct approach. And in my opinion, that gut check should include a checklist of three essential attributes.

1. Hire people pleasers. Your nightmare as a general counsel is the professional who does not enjoy providing customer service. Many outstanding lawyers lack good bedside manner, and they are most effective as outside counsel. More 

It’s all about Culture Fit at FMC Technologies

We are seeking a commercial generalist for Houston based FMC Technologies.  This is a junior level Counsel position (3 to 8 yrs) that is suitable for someone coming straight from a law firm.  However, candidates who went straight to law school after college will have trouble qualifying.  Why?  FMC Technologies takes a truly unique view of qualifications, favoring individuals who have real world non-legal business or other work experience before making a decision to attend law school.  Our client feels, and correctly so, that such candidates bring the right level of maturity and corporate interpersonal skills to indicate likely success in an in-house law department environment.

The culture at FMC Technologies is different in other ways as well, placing a strong emphasis on innovation, process, and collaboration.  If you wish to learn more, please call us at 312-225-1144.

Dow Corning position filled

Congratulations to Shandell Massey, who starts March 3 at Dow Corning.  Shandell will be relocating to Midland, Michigan from Chicago.  After graduating from law school at Michigan, Shandell spent four years cutting her teeth as a corporate Associate with AmLaw 100 firm Edwards Wildman, and she was in her fifth year as a commercial generalist with Atkore International when we called.  We first met Shandell at a dinner meeting our firm hosted for the Midwest Minority In-house Counsel Group.  Thank you for taking our call, Shandell.

Many thanks to Cornell Boggs, the general counsel of Dow Corning.  Cornell has kindly participated in GC roundtables and panels moderated by Mike Evers.  We appreciate Cornell’s confidence in Evers Legal.

Location change: Earthbound Farm position now at parent HQ in Denver

WhiteWave Foods (NYSE: WWAV) is a growing leader in the organic foods space.  WhiteWave recently acquired Earthbound Farm, a leading provider of organic produce.  Evers Legal has been exclusively retained to help fill the newly created position of Senior Division Counsel for Earthbound Farm, a role that will also include additional opportunity with other WhiteWave business units.  The position will be located in the Denver area, specifically Broomfield, CO, although you would spend considerable time in California for the first few months (where Earthbound Farm is located).

The role is operational across a broad spectrum of duties, including marketing and advertising review, commercial contracts, supply agreements with independent farmers, joint ventures, and (smaller component) litigation management.

Must have:  Consumer Products industry experience, preference for in-house experience.  Minimum 7+ years of experience, would welcome more.  Relocation provided, this is a national search.

For more details or to express your interest, please contact Mike Evers at 312-225-1144 or mike@everslegal.com.  Thank you.

Rich Konrath talks about his unique path to the GC chair at CNH Industrial in North America

Konrath 1Rich Konrath made his family proud when he followed in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps, graduating from Ohio State University. Armed with an English degree, he did exactly what many others in his shoes would do. He headed straight to law school.

But that’s where the typical career path of a successful lawyer ends, and an adventure begins.

While many of his fellow law school classmates at University of Toledo headed to law firms upon graduation, Konrath went to Washington, D.C., to join the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC). The decision set him on a course unlike that of most lawyers; a course that included Konrath cutting his teeth in a government agency, succeeding in several in-house legal positions for one of the country’s leading industrial manufacturers, moving himself and his family abroad for seven years to gain a wealth of legal experience at the international level, and ultimately becoming the vice president and general counsel, North America, for CNH Industrial, a global leader in the capital goods sector. More