Curt Kramer has been named Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Navistar International (NYSE: NAV), effective April 1 upon the retirement of Steve Covey. Steve spent 36 years with Navistar, including the last 13 as General Counsel. I thank Steve for making Navistar one of our first Fortune 500 clients almost 20 years ago. We had the privilege of handling the search that resulted in Curt’s placement at Navistar in 2002.
Curt started at Navistar with the title Senior Attorney, and he has successfully climbed every step up the law department ladder. It was an ascent that, by my count, included at least four title changes (most recently Associate GC and Corporate Secretary).
In our upcoming March 18 issue of “Evers eNews,” my Culture Fit column title is “Musical Chairs” and I talk about the frequency with which GC’s tend to move around these days. Steve Covey and Curt Kramer are proof that doing great work, building relationships, treating your team members well, navigating corporate changes, and always showing loyalty… remains a formula that works too. Congratulations Curt! I am very happy for you, and I appreciate your support over the years. Curt participated on a panel I put together for the In-house Innovates conference a few months ago. I am not supposed to play favorites, but you are indeed at the top of my list… I am grateful that our paths crossed early in our respective careers.
A quick thank you as well to Bob Perna. Bob was the General Attorney (really an Assistant GC title for Navistar) who hired Curt in 2002. Although Steve kindly gave our firm the thumbs up to engage with Navistar, I worked most closely with Bob on that search, and he was very generous in his support of our efforts. Bob has been a General Counsel for several years now and currently sits in the big chair for Rockwell Collins.
Throughout my tenure with Evers Legal, I have had the honor and privilege to chat with some of the most successful in-house lawyers in the business. In the past two years, I’ve interviewed a lawyer at the world’s largest retailer, two in the higher education field, and one from a well-known underwear brand, as well as several others from equally interesting industries.
Among this diverse group of professionals is years of exceptional legal and business experience. In every interview, I ask about the advice they would give a young lawyer hoping to be a general counsel someday. While several, consistent themes always rise to the surface, each one of these lawyers offers very personal and valuable advice from a unique perspective.
Here are some advice highlights from our 2015 and 2016 eNews GC profiles, when asked: What advice would you give a young lawyer who would like to be the GC of a company someday? More
The law school reunion. Depending on the type of person you are, you either look forward to it or feel disinterested at the idea of going. Law school reunions can be fun or uncomfortable, a waste of time or invaluably productive. It’s all about your attitude and how well you prepare for what can be a great opportunity for improving your career.
The reality is, law school reunions can be goldmines for making new and important career-advancing connections. Many of those classmates you’ve lost touch with may be the perfect people with whom to network. A few may be in leadership roles looking to fill positions that are essentially your dream job. Or others may be working in your dream job and can offer valuable insights on how to make the right moves to get there. Or still, maybe you’re that ideal connection for someone else, and you can serve as an excellent gateway for another classmate who’s looking to make a job move. More
Writing a great resume can be challenging for any lawyer. It’s a competitive profession, and one that’s replete with intelligent, experienced, hard-working achievers. It’s important to stand out among an already elite group. But the task of developing a strong, competitive resume becomes especially complicated for lawyers who have resume gaps.
It’s fairly easy to explain away short periods of time without a job. In fact, in-house counsel who have been laid off from big companies for reasons outside of their control are often highly sought after among other legal departments looking for experienced in-house counsel. But long stretches of unemployment are problematic. More
Please note that this year’s Inhouse Innovates series in Chicago (also and formerly known as the Inside Counsel “Superconference”), previously scheduled for May, is locked down now for Nov. 15 – 16. There was a change in ownership and the conference is now run by American Lawyer Media. The move to November has given ALM time to put its unique stamp on the conference and I’m excited to experience their approach.
I am pleased to be one of the panel moderators, and I hope you mark your calendar for the event. If you previously received a Complimentary Conference Pass from Evers Legal for May, you are automatically registered for November and will receive notice of this (ping me if you don’t). If you are not registered and wish to attend, let me know. Depending on eligibility requirements, I may be able to assist with a conference pass or at least a discount. Mike
Sitting in for Meredith Haydon this issue, we welcome Susan Sneider as our guest columnist for Your Career.
Networking Expands Horizons, Opens Doors and Maximizes Career Satisfaction
When people ask me what networking is, I often start with identifying what networking is not.
Glad-handing, pandering and pushiness are neither networking skills nor prerequisites to successful networking (and are, in fact, really incompatible with it). Working a room, while a great skill and potentially an initial networking step, is not networking either. Networking, it turns out, is actually something quite methodical and long term. It is equally accessible to extroverts and introverts alike and is best viewed as a marathon, not a sprint.
I define networking as the building and sustaining relationships over time to provide value to others. The heart of networking is helping others. The good news is that in the process of helping others, people are likely to experience their own personal and professional benefits in the future. More
When reviewing replies to our Career Satisfaction Survey , a recurring theme jumped out at me. In-house lawyers would like to have more control over their career paths. We had 55 write-in answers to the Question: “Other than money, what would make your job more satisfying?” Those were on top of the five options offered. Mike commented on the top two answers (“expanded responsibilities” and “promotion”) in his recent InsideCounsel column.
But I was really fascinated by a deep dive into the write-in answers, as many of you took the time and opportunity to vent about specific challenges you are facing. Here are half of the fourteen comments that started with the word “more”:
- “More control over work and output, the CEO is a control freak who needs to run everything.”
- “More involvement with the business teams on strategic development and rationale.” More
Need holiday gift ideas for your career-aspiring family, friends and co-workers? Your shopping just got easier!
Eight current and former general counsel—all of whom are highly successful lawyers who have been profiled on Evers Legal’s blog—talk about the books that most influenced their lives and careers.
Check out this list of books (in no particular order) that helped to pave the impressive careers of some of the in-house bar’s top lawyers. More
Thank you to Meredith Ritchie and her fellow Board members for including me in yesterday’s Coalition of Women’s Initiatives in Law event. The largely law firm oriented audience seized on client access and origination credit as a key driver towards improved inclusion and advancement for women at major firms.
Of course, I always find the in-house attorneys at any legal conference. The photo here is with Cynthia Abbott, the stellar Chief Litigation Counsel for Motorola Mobility. More