Category Archives: Culture Fit

Help us help you

CultureFitIf you have had a good experience with our search firm and believe your law department might benefit from using us in the future, I have a request. Regardless if your company is currently hiring, please introduce me to your key internal contact in human resources.

It is increasingly rare for a general counsel to independently engage a search consultant to fill an important opening in his or her department. On the front end of a new opening, HR often leads on the discussion of whether to even use a search firm. And when the company does authorize the use of a search firm, it is very helpful if a vendor relationship already exists with a firm that you and HR both feel good about using. More 

Jeff Carr’s new gig

Congratulations to my friend, and former client, Jeff Carr.  Jeff is launching a new service offering, and I’ll talk about that in a moment.  Jeff practiced the elusive art of prevention for 21 years as the General Counsel of FMC Technologies.  He might balk at my use of the word art, since Jeff is best known for his innovative use of technology in a law department context, and as an early champion of alternative fee arrangements.  But as I wrote about here when Jeff “retired” last year, I believe Jeff’s judgment and leadership skills were essential for any of that innovation to take hold.  And in my opinion those same people skills will be Jeff’s true calling card as he moves into a service provider role.

Jeff is creating a “prevention practice” at law firm Valorem Law Group under the moniker “ValoremNext.”  I suspect Jeff’s advice and counsel will be uniquely valuable to new GCs, or laterally placed GCs who seek a partner on a change management undertaking.  I’ll find out more on Jeff’s upcoming road show.  He has created a complimentary one hour program for in-house attorneys, to be held in Houston (Oct 28), Chicago (Nov. 12), and Silicon Valley (Nov. 17).  For more information or to register, email Jeff:  Jeffrey.carr@valoremlaw.com

 

Congrats to R3-100 recipients

Inside Counsel recently came out with it’s third annual list of DGC/AGC level attorneys who are ready to assume General Counsel positions.  R3-100 stands for, essentially, the 100 top women in-house counsel who are Ready for GC roles within the next three years (“R3”).  It was an honor to offer suggestions for IC to consider.  For the complete list:  R3-100, 2015

 

 

Socializing with service providers: take you out to the ballgame?

Culture-Fit-artSo, this is not really an invitation. But it could be. I’m not sure. Would you like one? I seek your input on the pros and cons of socializing with outside service providers.

Earlier this month, I wrote a column for Inside Counsel addressing corporate social activity among current and potential employees, especially at the executive level. I probably came down a little too hard on a perfectly nice golf outing, but I wanted to address the ongoing challenge of accessing diverse pools of talent, and going beyond existing comfort zones to do so.

My thoughts on social functions with service providers are less clear. This is because I am not objective on the topic. I enjoy socializing with our clients, and I want to engage in any activity that helps build relationships. More 

Cybersecurity is the new insecurity

CultureFit image May15The general counsel role continues to expand, and in-house lawyers are integral players in business development activity. But the most important piece of any GC’s job description remains as simple as this: Protect the Company.

Accordingly, I often ask our clients: “What keeps you up at night?” After the hack into Sony’s internal computer network, the eye-opening “60 Minutes” piece that followed, and a general recognition that all companies are vulnerable to cyberattack, the answer is fairly unanimous.

No wonder the word “cybersecurity” was used in 20 percent of the agenda items at last week’s InsideCounsel SuperConference, and cybersecurity was the keynote topic. I looked through my old conference programs from previous years, and I couldn’t find the word cybersecurity anywhere. So, is the concern overblown, reminiscent of “Y2K” fears back in 1999? More 

55% of Law Departments added Headcount in 2014

If survey summary info and pie charts are to be believed… according to Corporate Counsel’s 2014 law department benchmarking survey, 55% of law departments increased headcount last year.  That looks and feels about right to us, and it’s an extraordinarily high percentage compared with previous years.  Static headcount is the norm; increases and decreases are usually the outliers.  See:  http://www.corpcounsel.com/home/id=1202676090048/2014-Law-Department-Metrics-Benchmarking-Survey?mcode=1202615405140&curindex=0

 

The price of poker has gone up

CultureFit-pokerWhenever you read about hiring trends in the trade press, the article usually focuses on growth industries and so called “hot” practice areas (i.e. compliance, intellectual property, data privacy, etc). But I am seeing a more interesting hiring trend that is not practice- or industry-specific.

In a nutshell, companies appear more focused than ever on building “best in class” law departments. Many departments are there already and it’s a matter of maintaining quality standards. I use Baxter Healthcare as an example here. Baxter has kindly partnered with us to make a couple of key hires related to the pending spinout of its BioSciences division into a new public company. If you are interested in one of these positions—VP, Information Policy and Management and Securities Counsel—or have a candidate referral to recommend, please contact me. You would be joining a team that is already A-tier in terms of pedigree, work ethic, mission orientation and community service. More 

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