×

Career Growth for Corporate Counsel

( 38 votes, average: 4.7 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.
Many law firms seek corporate clients as much for prestige as for potential revenue and profits. In the process, they overlook the fact that often, a corporate client is interested in cost containment as well as effectiveness. Consequently, the negotiated fees end up being on the low side of current market trends. For certain tasks, some will consider and negotiate value billing. In speeches, panel discussions, and journal articles by corporate counsel, it is abundantly clear what they want. In attracting corporate clients, brochures can be practically valueless, particularly if they are just sent out in a random search effort. This is because the attorney or firm must respond to specific client needs. A brochure is normally too general to do this and can only be a supplement to a client-based approach.
 
Career Growth for Corporate Counsel

It is up to the attorney to discover specific needs, such as merger and acquisition, securities, environmental litigation, product liability, or some other area. Outside attorneys whose firms provide complete legal services are of no importance to a particular corporate client. Clients need only one thing at any given time and at any particular locale.


 
Click Here to Read BCG Attorney Search’s Guide to Corporate and Finance Job Search Categories for More Information.

WHAT CORPORATE CLIENTS LOOK FOR

Corporate law departments have been slowly evolving so that they no longer depend solely on outside counsel for resolution of matters. Now, many matters are handled internally due to larger staffs and increased specialization of corporate attorneys. The work which is passed on to outside counsel is more focused and requires a great deal of specialization. As a result, greater partner involvement has become necessary as firms are no longer able to pass much of the work onto lesser skilled associates.

Whereas several years ago an attorney or firm providing legal advice and expertise to a corporate client might have been given a good deal of free rein, now corporate clients require greater control over the management of matters. This means less variation between original proposals and final results (as well as bills).

Perhaps a great deal of this tightening of the corporate legal belt is due to an increased concern for efficiency. Corporate legal department budgets certainly seem to be under greater scrutiny these days. Corporate law matters are considered to be business rather than law oriented. Detailed billings are often required to demonstrate work accomplished and results achievedas compared to expenses incurred. The key to attracting corporate clients is multifaceted. According to current trends, the attorney must be
 
  • Specialized to handle a particular need.
  • Able to demonstrate good project management skills.
  • Efficient in operations.
  • On target with regard to ability to follow through on proposal objectives and budgets.
  • Uniquely knowledgeable (the more so the better) regarding the corporate client's business.

The crucial factor, though, remains the personal relationship. The attorney must establish and maintain a significant amount of trust and confidence. As corporations have stated, they seek attorney referrals from trusted referral sources. Law firm advertising, public relations, and general reputation may help influence the hiring decisions of corporate counsel, but
they will never supersede the power of solid referrals. In the final analysis, it boils down to the relationship between the corporate client and the lead outside attorney rather than between the corporation and the law firm. For the attorney just starting out on the trail of corporate clients, the listing in Martindale-Hubbell Directory is only a starting place to establishing name recognition.

In a broad sense, corporate general counsel's decision processes are no different from that of the local closely held business that needs either to change attorneys or is seeking expertise in a particular area. Much of the decision will be based on the personal relationship.
 
SEARCH CORPORATE JOBS ON BCG ATTORNEY SEARCH



About Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes is the founder of LawCrossing and an internationally recognized expert in attorney search and placement. Harrison is extremely committed to and passionate about the profession of legal placement. Harrison’s writings about attorney careers and placement attract millions of reads each year. LawCrossing has been ranked on the Inc. 500 twice. For more information, please visit Harrison Barnes’ bio.

About LawCrossing
LawCrossing has received tens of thousands of attorneys jobs and has been the leading legal job board in the United States for almost two decades. LawCrossing helps attorneys dramatically improve their careers by locating every legal job opening in the market. Unlike other job sites, LawCrossing consolidates every job in the legal market and posts jobs regardless of whether or not an employer is paying. LawCrossing takes your legal career seriously and understands the legal profession. For more information, please visit www.LawCrossing.com.


Featured Testimonials

Job postings on LawCrossing are up-to-date. I really appreciate its unique feature of sending job alerts on your email.
Brian


Facts

LawCrossing Fact #1: LawCrossing is free for all students to use during the school year until they graduate.

 
Let's Do It!
Email:

Only LawCrossing consolidates every job it can find in the legal industry and puts all of the job listings it locates in one place.

  • We have more than 25 times as many legal jobs as any other job board.
  • We list jobs you will not find elsewhere that are hidden in small regional publications and employer websites.
  • We collect jobs from more than 250,000 websites and post them on our site.
  • Increase your chances of being seen! Employers on public job boards get flooded with applications. Our private job boards ensure that only members can apply to our job postings.

Success Stories

LawCrossing is great at picking up all of the legal listings everywhere across the internet. I could have gone to three different sites to search, but you had them all on your site. That was extremely helpful. LawCrossing is a one stop shop!
  • Eileen Baca-Penner New Mexico