Mike's latest column on Law.com
Hiring a "Job Hopper"
In this article, I share my guidance for legal departments considering candidates with a lot of movement.
Mike Evers is the Career Advice Columnist for Corporate Counsel Magazine
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Corporate Counsel Columns 2023
- Aug. 1, 2023
In this article, I share my guidance for legal departments considering candidates with a lot of movement.
- July 5, 2023
This will go down as one of those touchy-feely columns. No advice here that will help you land a promotion. But this will prove to be a worthwhile read if I can convince you to turn off the all-consuming phone for real chunks of time this summer.
- June 1, 2023
Smart in-house counsel knows that whatever lawyer title he or she gets, what really matters in corporate America is the grade level title. This is especially true at publicly traded companies.
- May 1, 2023
As to why LinkedIn matters, use of LinkedIn by recruiters for primary sourcing is a given. And if you are actively interviewing for a position, expect that every interviewer will check out your LinkedIn profile. But don’t just think of LinkedIn as job change related. It’s a vehicle for creating your personal brand and maintaining an online professional presence.
- April 3, 2023
Goldman Sachs predicts that artificial intelligence will disrupt 44% of legal jobs. While no one is suggesting that four out of ten lawyers will be replaced by technology advances, make no mistake: companies prefer fewer lawyers to more lawyers, and corporate counsel should prepare for the future accordingly.
- March 1, 2023
You are inheriting 10 attorneys, including three direct reports. Two of your direct reports were qualified for your job, but the CEO wanted to go outside for new leadership. Welcome to Day One. Here are ten tips for general counsels in this situation.
- Feb. 1, 2023
Did your 2023 salary increase outpace inflation? Or do you feel as though you are running in place on the compensation treadmill? Many inside counsel feel underpaid. But are you?
- Jan. 6, 2023
Positivity is absolutely a leadership quality. It’s needed to earn the respect and trust of CEOs, direct reports, internal clients, and even outside service providers. Naysayers, negative Nancys, and cynics get weeded out and don’t sit in the GC chair.
Corporate Counsel Columns 2022
- Dec. 5, 2022
Consider calling your favorite recruiter and asking for an assessment of available talent. See if there is an opportunity for your law department to make a great hire.
- Nov. 3, 2022
The pandemic pushed networking online, which is a poor venue for relationship building. Let’s welcome back the many benefits of in-person professional events!
- Oct. 4, 2022
The way to keep your career from blowing off course is to stay true to your gut and by taking the jobs you know you will enjoy. Don’t let what you can’t control dictate your next move.
- Sept. 8, 2022
Where once offices used to be a take-it-or-leave it given, now it is front and center as more of a give and take.
- Aug. 1, 2022
Many of our search assignments are subject matter specific. Please get us a great securities, or IP, or employment attorney, etc. Subject-matter experts do hit ceilings, however. In many of the larger legal departments, the top of the ladder for specialists is a senior role reporting to the general counsel.
- June 28, 2022
Staff level postings (counsel and senior counsel) remain at record levels. I know most of you are not finding the candidate quality you seek at the salary point your HR department has authorized. Because wage inflation within the legal profession has outpaced internal equity considerations.
- May 4, 2022
If you don’t have a good recruiter to help walk the right couple to the altar, here are a few pro tips for managing expectations.
- April 5, 2022
Let’s all challenge ourselves to place a higher value on life experiences that differ from our own. Differences can drive cultural change and growth.
- March 4, 2022
While the current state of affairs is making life frustrating for general counsels who need to add staff, it really is a wonderful development for in-house compensation.
- Jan. 31, 2022
The unwritten rule was that later-in-career attorneys could not return to a law firm. Now, returning to law firm land is common.
- Jan. 4, 2022
The most common in-house opening by title is Senior Counsel, and, since most companies prefer to hire attorneys with in-house experience, you are all competing for the same talent. Here are my four best practices for meeting this hiring challenge.
Corporate Counsel Columns 2021
- Dec. 1, 2021
Hiring an attorney with relevant experience who really wants the job over an attorney with shinier credentials is not settling. It’s embracing the right match.
Nov. 9, 2021
Even if your current General Counsel has only been with the company for a few years and is not close to retirement age, don’t assume he or she is never leaving.
- Oct. 4, 2021
“What does my potential employer want?” If you keep this question in mind, your résumé will take on a tone of client service and flexibility.
- Sept. 7, 2021
Law departments are experiencing the tightest labor market in memory, and I have an observational theory on why.
- Aug 3, 2021
The most important element of any general counsel’s job description remains as simple as this: Protect The Company.
- July 7, 2021
Putting your best foot forward on LinkedIn is not time consuming, but you should do it thoughtfully and purposefully.
- June 1, 2021
Do better benchmarking homework than your employer. It costs nothing, and it may convince your boss or HR to consider current apples-to-apples information.
- May 5, 2021
Bottom-line: I think we are about to see a trend away from disclosure, at least at the early stage of an application.
- March 25, 2021
General Counsel candidates interview with only one ultimate decision-maker: the CEO. If the CEO has her mind set on a particular choice, then that person will be the winner.
- March 3, 2021
While the downside of mostly-Zoom days is well chronicled, the forced change into working from home has led a large number of you to focus on how you really feel about your job.
- Feb. 5, 2021
While working from home at this stage in the pandemic is still widely accepted, companies have a bias in favor of candidates who are willing to interview in-person when making an important senior level hire.
- Jan. 6, 2021
Interviewing is a competitive sport. Play to win.
Corporate Counsel Columns 2020
Dec. 1, 2020
Maintaining a calm, confident, even-keeled professional demeanor comes naturally, or at least appears to come naturally, to the most successful inside counsel. I marvel when I see this trait displayed so consistently over a long period of time.
- Nov. 12, 2020
Attorneys are not digital animators or marketing gurus who are expected to get creative with resume styles and content. But you can, and in my opinion should, up your game with one simple tip: use hyperlinks.
- Oct. 5, 2020
Diversity in hiring is suffering from social distancing, Mike Evers writes. He encourages general counsel and human resources leaders to double down on their commitment to sourcing candidates thoroughly and creatively.
- Sept. 3, 2020
It took six months into the pandemic for our firm to close on an “all Zoom hire.” Meaning: At no point did the new placement, now an assistant general counsel for a financial services company, walk into our client’s HQ facility or meet with her new boss.
- June 17, 2020
It is tempting to sit tight and wait out the proverbial storm. Resist that temptation. Show your fire in the belly. Be heard and be valuable!
- May 7, 2020
This month’s column is intended to serve as a reminder that hiring indeed continues, and some of the needs are pressing.
- April 20, 2020
To be clear, we all absolutely HATE video interviewing. Outside recruiters like me, internal HR folks, and especially the actual hiring manager CEOs and GCs … none of us want this. And so a strong preference to wait for the traditional process has become an added reason, beyond macro conditions, to kick the hiring can down the road.
- March 5, 2020
Your company likely already has a crisis plan ready if needed. But be the leader who goes the extra mile to do something lawyers do really well: issue spot.
- February 06, 2020
The list of GC-ready candidates is impressive, and hopefully the folks behind the scenes at this initiative are pushing the list directly to CEOs, EVPs of HR, and even board members.
- January 08, 2020
I am stealing Heather’s title from Corporate Counsel’s January cover (“2020 Vision”), but with a twist of chutzpah. I am going to share my predictions of what in-house careers will look like in 2030.
Corporate Counsel Columns 2019
- December 03, 2019
I realize that career advice columns often boil down to a variation on the phrase, “use common sense.” Yet, I was reminded recently that some lawyers can make $800,000 and fail to practice that concept.
- November 04, 2019
Career security is about access to decision-makers, and your inside counsel counterparts control millions of dollars in outside counsel spend.
- October 02, 2019
Failing to maximize your LinkedIn presence constitutes personal professional negligence.
- September 09, 2019
I have no idea what is coming around the bend. No one ever really does; they just have opinions. Can an in-house lawyer prepare for the Zombie Apocalypse just in case? Answer: Yes, especially if you don’t focus on and stress out about job security.
- August 08, 2019
Let’s say you want to join the fictitious in-house legal department at Acme Corp. Either Acme has an active opening in its legal department, or it does not. What follows is a “how to” approach for each scenario.
- July 15, 2019
We’ve gotten pretty good at figuring out who is willing to pull the trigger on such a major life change. That assessment is just as important as matching credentials and culture fit. I painfully recall losing a client 15 years ago (FifthThird Bank) when one of our recruits got cold feet about moving to Cincinnati, after he had accepted the position.
- June 04, 2019
I love working on in-house positions with startups, especially first general counsel hires. And recent work has emphasized a request we often hear from clients in fast growth mode: “Get us candidates who are entrepreneurial.”
- May 08, 2019
Always know where you stand, and be honest with yourself about where you stand.
- April 04, 2019
I just took my search firm’s first order within the cannabis industry, a general counsel role for a leading grower of legal marijuana. Interest in the role is high (OK, the puns are easy!), but I’ve already rejected one of my favorite candidates.
- March 07, 2019
March through June is the most active window for recruiting at the professional level generally across disciplines.
- February 06, 2019
Wills, divorces, consumer credit problems, landlord disputes and traffic violations all have two things in common. One, handling such matters is firmly outside your job description. Two, if you are in-house with a large company, your rank and file co-workers in the field are dealing with personal legal issues such as these all the time.
- January 08, 2019
Whatever word we use to describe what you do for a living, however, here is what nonlawyer clients tend to hear: NO. At many companies, the prevailing view of the law department is still a hybrid of traffic cop and bureaucrat.