Gcconsulting Methodology, In-House Attorney Placement, Legal Staff Placements, In-House Search Placement
General Counsel Consulting
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General Counsel
service in helping
my organization
recruit for a hard
to fill position.
They did extensive
work on the front
end to understand
our needs and
our culture and
began referring
highly qualified
candidates almost
Melinda Burrows
Deputy General Counsel
- Litigation and
Compliance, Progress
Energy Service Company
Articles By
Harrison Barnes From
BCG Attorney Search


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Job of the Day
Legal Counsel for Beneficiaries; Proposition 19 & Property Tax Relief; Elder Law
Newport Beach California United States

"Certain beneficiaries and trustees lacking legal counsel that we fund trust loans for, generally for tax relief and property buyout purposes -- need help from an attorney. Your fees are paid by the family trust. Contact us ASAP..." We are ...


Specialized in-house focus

At General Counsel Consulting, we focus on (1) understanding the needs of our corporate clients, (2) promoting your position to the correct demographic and highlighting your corporations strengths in the process, (3) screening and interviewing candidates before presenting them to you for your position, and (4) assisting you with transitioning the attorney.
While most attorney-placement companies are happy to do many things, such as law firm and legal staff placements, all we do at General Counsel Consulting is in-house search placement. We have an outstanding understanding of the in-house legal market and the attorneys who thrive in it.
1. At General Counsel Consulting, We Seek to Understand the Needs of Our Corporate Clients.
Corporations are interested in hiring attorneys for different reasons. In some cases, a corporation may want an attorney in order to replace outside counsel completely and want the in-house attorney to serve as a generalist. In most cases, the corporation will want the attorney to fill a specific role in a given practice area. For example, it is increasingly popular for real estate companies to bring in real estate attorneys and for many high-tech companies to bring in intellectual property attorneys.
The needs of every corporation are different. The sophistication of the work required of a given attorney is also different. With our knowledge and ability to screen attorneys, we can set the bar as high as you wish in assisting you with identifying attorneys for your organization. We want to be your partner in choosing your next attorney as well as all of your future attorney hires.
With decades of experience screening candidates, the consultants at General Counsel Consulting have the ability to assist you in recruiting the sort of attorney that is likely to thrive in the position. Understanding your corporate culture and your needs helps us make this identification.
We also understand that most corporations simply want an attorney to assist them with their corporate matters and are not hiring someone to be the next CEO. Conversely, many attorneys who make the transition from a law firm to a corporation are seeking to get on the business side of things. Some corporations, though, are interested in this. Preventing a bad fit in this respect is one of our objectives when we seek to understand your needs.
2. At General Counsel Consulting, We Will Promote Your Position to the Correct Demographic and Highlight Your Corporation's Strengths in the Process.
Few corporations realize that when they hire a recruiting firm, they are hiring a public relations firm to carry out an aggressive campaign to make attorneys want to work for them. Whether we are advertising your corporation in a national magazine, on an Internet job board, or simply speaking with attorneys around the country on the telephone about your organization, we are carrying our public relations campaign on your behalf. This is work we take very seriously.
The attorneys we speak with during the course of your search and the attorneys who ultimately become your employees will be greatly influenced by their contact with us and tell numerous people about their interaction with our company. Your legal-recruiting firm is your public relations agent for the legal community.
Identifying the correct demographic for your position is no easy task and is only something we can do once we are familiar with your company and the sorts of attorneys you are seeking. When you enlist General Counsel Consulting to assist you with this, you are dealing with a powerhouse. We have more than 200 employees, and the majority of these employees are dedicated to research. In terms of our research abilities, we can quickly ascertain the precise attorneys who are likely to be good fits for your openings. While we realize that many companies may pay lip service to this sort of idea, we are revolutionaries in this field.
Once we have identified the core demographic for your position, we then seek to ensure that this demographic is notified of your opening. Here, again, we have abilities that none of our competitors can match. We will promote your position anonymously or list your companies name across a wide variety of media. In most cases, we will institute campaigns based on calling, emailing, and writing the correct attorney demographic; reviewing the files of current and unplaced past candidates; scanning all pertinent resume-posting sites not controlled by us; and scouring Internet and print media advertising. It is our belief that a combination of all approaches is the most likely way to ensure that the demographic of attorneys we are seeking to reach on your behalf is reached.
Given our resources, we can also promote your positions internally on a Employment Research Institute-controlled job board, LawCrossing. This is the largest legal-job board in the world in terms of traffic and gives us the ability to promote your position more aggressively and with less cost.
3. At General Counsel Consulting, We will Screen and Interview Candidates Before Presenting Them to You.
Attorneys view their role practicing law in many different ways. There are many components that concern us when we are assisting you with the identification of in-house counsel. These components are most often invisible to non-attorneys and others who are not experienced in hiring attorneys on a day-to-day basis. Our role is to ensure that you find the attorney who matches exactly what you are seeking.
Attorneys are extremely motivated individuals by nature. All attorneys have been to college, and most attorneys did very well in college. Most of the attorneys we work with also did very well in law school and managed to get jobs in top law firms after graduating from law school.
The issue with all of this motivation is that it is often difficult to tell what it will mean to a future employer.
Most attorneys with strong pedigrees come from backgrounds where they did a lot of work in solitude. This means that the attorneys were engaged in a lot of study and that these attorneys were at the same time quite motivated while studying and excelled beyond their peers. When most law firms and corporations are seeking attorneys, they are (or should be) generally seeking people with these characteristics. Being able to concentrate for long periods of time and having a great deal of motivation when solving problems are characteristics of most good attorneys.
In addition, lawyering in its highest sense is more about the client than the actual attorney. Most of the attorneys the public is familiar with from television trials, for example, are not the sorts of attorneys that any top corporation or law firm would want working for it. These attorneys are too much in the public spotlight, and this need for the public spotlight tends to overwhelm the client's interests.
The true attorney that is most employable is someone who is most concerned with his/her client's interest, is willing to work hard to solve problems, and is able to concentrate on these problems for long periods of time to come up with solutions.
At issue is whether the "true attorney" is often the one who ends up getting hired by the corporation. Here, the answer is a resounding "No." While the reasons for this are many, a few of them will be shared here.
First, many attorneys go to work in-house for the wrong reasons. Many attorneys choose to go to work in a corporation because they are unhappy in a law firm and want a change of environment. As legal search consultants, it is our job to understand why the attorney is unhappy. Regardless of the quality of the law firm the attorney is coming from, the chance certainly exists that he/she may be seeking a change to a corporate environment due to the fact that he/she could not do the work in the law firm. He/She may have discovered this after being at one firm, two firms, or he/she may be on his/her fourth firm. Regardless, the reasons the attorney is seeking to go in-house must be explored in detail.
Some attorneys also go to work in-house because they are under the mistaken impression that by going in-house, they will be suddenly conducting business and involved in important corporate decisions. Other attorneys go in-house because they are interested in no longer being held accountable to the billable hour and working less. To the corporation doing the hiring, the fact that an attorney may be interested in working less may not be something that is all that positive when a major problem comes up for the corporation.
Second, corporations often apply their own measuring stick in deciding who should be hired for the in-house attorney position. While this is not always a bad thing in the corporate world, corporate officers and executives are not universally qualified to judge attorneys' qualifications and suitability for the position. Making hiring decisions based on how much a given attorney is liked by the staff may be one way of making an assessment. Nevertheless, the technical skills of an attorney are what you should be most interested in when hiring an attorney.
At General Counsel Consulting, our interest is in assisting you in screening the correct and "true attorney" for your opening. Hiring mistakes can be extremely expensive, and by being on your team, we can assist you in ensuring that you hire the best attorneys.
Our screening process involves much more than simply reviewing resumes and sending out rejection letters. Instead, our screening entails understanding the true nature of the attorney who will be going to work for you. In most cases, the same attorney who is happy in a law firm and doing well is the same attorney who would excel in a corporation.
4. At General Counsel Consulting, We Will Assist You in Transitioning the Attorney to Your Corporation.
Just because an offer has been accepted does not always mean that the attorney will be showing up for work. One of our jobs as search consultants is to ensure that once an offer has been extended and accepted, the attorney remains interested in working for your company.
None of this involves manipulation. Instead, our main interest is just ensuring that expectations on both sides are known. Here, it is important that the attorney you are hiring clearly understands your organization, and vice versa.
Many corporations believe that a higher salary, stock options, and benefits are generally the most important components in ensuring that a given offer to an attorney is accepted. While these are important in the corporate world, the best attorneys will look upon their transition to the corporate world with a different mindset in many respects. When you are hiring an in-house attorney, you are hiring someone who will be your attorney and who is going to be representing your interests. It is important that this attorney believe in you and what you are doing.
In some cases, our clients have not had large legal departments or may even be hiring their first attorney. Once you hire an attorney, this attorney will have a certain set of expectations for his/her new position, and we will assist you in identifying the expectations of the attorney in terms of what he/she needs to do the job.
The methodology we follow at General Counsel Consulting is geared towards ensuring your interests are represented as well as possible and at every level. We believe we bring a great deal of depth to the process, and due to our strength as a branch of the largest attorney-placement company in the world, we can certainly afford to educate you where necessary.
An organization can rise or fall based on the quality of the people inside of it. It is no different with your legal department. In running your legal department, it is crucial that you allow us to work with you to identify the types of attorneys who will fit in best and prosper in the positions you are seeking to fill. Whether you are a small entrepreneurial company or a Fortune 500 company, your needs are important to us at General Counsel Consulting, and we are seeking to fill these positions as well as possible.
In many cases, we have offered our candidates the option of taking psychological assessment tests; and in many cases, this is a good option for screening out the sorts of attorneys you simply do not want inside of your organization.
Because corporations do not typically employ attorneys with the same regularity as law firms, they are often misled by many myths.
It is a well-known fact that corporations have different objectives when hiring in-house counsel and attorneys going to work inside corporations often have different expectations from those they would have working at law firms.

Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss it, you will land among the stars.