Career Advice Columns

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Most Recent InsideCounsel Columns

  • August 1, 2014 – Pivoting your career back to a law firm – A personal friend of mine was just laid off from a Fortune 500 law department in the aftermath of what has to be honestly labeled a power struggle. While in-house positions are generally secure — indeed, that is one of the strong selling points for going in-house — surprises occur … Read More
  • July 7, 2014 – The power reference: Get your foot in the door – Most people think of references as a list of three people you hand over to a prospective employer after the company has decided it wants to hire you. But a more proactive and strategic reference can help you long before an offer … Read More
  • June 9, 2014 – What’s hot? Take a look at compliance jobs – At last month’s IC SuperConference, I had the pleasure of connecting in-person with many of our readers. It’s an annual treat for me. It also served as a reminder that most attorneys really have just one primary question for recruiters: “What’s hot?” … Read More
  • May 7, 2014 – 4 tips for maximizing your LinkedIn profile – LinkedIn is no longer an optional platform. If you like phrases like tipping point or critical mass, then let me assure you that use of LinkedIn by recruiters and employers blew beyond those thresholds a long time ago. And if you are actively interviewing for a position, expect that every interviewer will check out your LinkedIn profile … Read More
  • April 8, 2014 – Diversity: Going further and changing culture – I challenge white corporate leaders to think differently. On May 14, I will moderate a panel at InsideCounsel’s SuperConference titled, “Beyond Diversity: Creating Corporate Culture.” The panel will include multiple legal leaders — Maria Green, Martin Montes, and David Rawlinson — who have kindly agreed to share their thoughts on creating inclusive cultures … Read More
  • March 3, 2014 – Receiving top leadership training for inside counsel – After Alfreda Bradley-Coar graduated from General Electric’s new manager development course as a mid-level inside counsel some years ago, she was so inspired that she went on to get her MBA. Alfreda is now … Read More
  • January 27, 2014 – Selling the goal of longevity in hiring – In speaking with a number of general counsel about their hiring, retention, and talent management plans for 2014, I recognize an opportunity for law departments that want to attract great attorneys regardless of compensation … Read More
  • December 10, 2013 – General counsel advice on increasing your boardroom presence – Let’s first define what we mean by boardroom presence, as this is an essential quality companies seek when making a senior level hire. We are talking about business maturity, confidence … Read More
  • September 25, 2013 – Leading a law department, the inside scoop – Many general counsel are great lawyers and boardroom consiglieres but struggle when it comes to leading the many personalities that make up any sizable law department. A few micromanage with an iron fist while, more commonly, others … Read More
  • August 29, 2013 – To get hired, listen up – I asked our experts, “When hiring for your department, what are the two most important personal character traits you seek in a candidate?” … Read More
  • July 24, 2013 – The path to the big chair – “If you were to offer one tip or piece of advice for a mid-level inside counsel who aspires to sit in the general counsel chair eventually, what would it be?” … Read More
  • June 21, 2013 – Managing your boss – When inside counsel call our firm to ask about new opportunities, we often hear some version of “I don’t like my boss” as the key motivator for seeking a move. The more vocal this complaint gets, the more likely it becomes that we will see multiple employer changes over a short period of time… Read More
  • May 13, 2013 – Women in the C-Suite – A general business publication named Crain’s ran an article recently about the very small percentage of women holding CEO, CFO and lead business development titles. Crain’s pointed out the notable exception: Women are entering the executive ranks (or the C-Suite) via general counsel positions. … Read More
  • April 2, 2013 – Break beyond your specialty niche – A majority of our searches are, in fact, subject matter specific requests. Please get us a great securities, IP or ERISA attorney, etc. Subject matter experts do hit ceilings once in-house, however. In many of the larger legal departments… Read More
  • March 11, 2013 – Maintain control of your career when the unexpected strikes – …And I thought about the kind of phone call I get once or twice every month. It’s a call for help from an attorney who has been laid off but truly did not see it coming. … Read More
  • February 4, 2013 – The art of GC peer networking – Many general counsel crave peer-level networking. They want private opinions on how to handle sensitive situations, and they do seek recommendations on best practices and outside services. … Read More
  • January 14, 2013 – Prediction: 2013 will be the year the associate dies – At the largest firms in big markets like New York, Chicago and San Francisco, we still see a pyramid structure in which associates outnumber partners (though barely). …Read More
  • December 12, 2012 – Truly helpful reference checking – The vast majority of reference check calls should really be labeled validation calls. Once you have selected a winner, you have a few pleasant conversations with folks who will offer comforting, and hopefully enthusiastic, thumbs up on the candidate …Read More
  • November 26, 2012 – 3 keys to landing an inside counsel freelance job – Last month I suggested five tips for using inside counsel freelancers. Now it’s time to flip the coin and offer advice for inside counsel who wish to freelance. If you are really looking for traditional employment, then this is the wrong column for you. …Read More
  • October 18, 2012 – 5 tips for using inside counsel freelancers – Law department talent models continue to evolve in response to the question so often posed at inside counsel conferences: “How can general counsel handle increasing compliance requirements and other legal needs, while meeting stricter budgetary goals?” … Read More
  • September 17, 2012 – Legal departments resist virtual offices – I was wrong. For almost 20 years, I had been predicting a true shift away from corporate headquarter (HQ) offices. I believed that virtual and home-based officing would become the norm for a majority of inside counsel. The pros of virtual officing seemed so obvious to me… Read More
  • August 9, 2012 – Treat yourself to some free time – I’ve discussed the importance of extracurricular activities such as conference networking, article writing and pro bono efforts. Those columns fall within a category some may view as eating your professional vegetables. …Read More
  • July 12, 2012 - 5 tips for employers when hiring an out-of-town candidate – Many of our firm’s search assignments involve geographic relocation, often to small markets with one major Fortune 500 employer. … we’ve gotten pretty good at figuring out who is willing to pull the trigger on such a major life change. …Read More
  • June 14, 2012 – Job security for life - In the wake of another major law firm collapse, I’m getting more calls than ever from associates and partners who crave the “job security” of working for a corporate law department. I put job security in quotes because I think the concept is widely misunderstood within the legal profession. …Read More

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