Over the past year, we have seen corporate legal departments across the country hire and spend funds on attorney recruiting at a record pace.

A recent survey by Altman Weil and LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell found an overall increase of 19% in internal hiring, with the number of lawyers per billion in revenue rising from 2.93 lawyers per billion in revenue to 3.49 lawyers per billion in revenue for the 2005 fiscal year. The average internal cost of running a law department also rose by 2.6% to about $333,000 per lawyer.

The primary factors in this continuing rise in the internal hiring of attorneys have been the overall growth of companies encouraged by a healthy economic market and the increasing billable rates of outside counsel. As a result, companies have been able to grow their legal departments, focusing on mid-level to senior-level counsel with general legal experience and deep organizational knowledge, as well as specializations in patents, securities, and mergers and acquisitions. Despite talk of an economic deceleration, in-house legal departments are planning to hire in the fourth quarter at a pace equal to, or even stronger than, that of the same period in 2005.

As a result of this ongoing talent search, which has resulted in an employee-driven market, in-house attorney salaries and bonuses have continued to climb, with base salaries climbing by 2.2% to 9.5% and bonuses climbing by as much as 71%, according to a new survey conducted by legal consultant Altman Weil, Inc.

Some practice areas tend to be more in demand, and attorneys with specializations in patents, securities, and mergers and acquisitions can command higher overall compensation packages than many of their peers in other practice areas do. Some industries that continued to be profitable during the second half of 2006, including energy, telecommunications, financial services, pharmaceuticals, and healthcare, have also been able to offer more competitive compensation packages to attract top legal talent.

General Counsel Consulting has continued its expansion with the opening of an Atlanta office in September 2006 and an office in Washington, DC, in November 2006. We also increased our placement activity by nearly 40% in the second half of 2006. In addition, we have responded to the demands of corporate legal departments, promoting the hiring and advancement of women and minorities by presenting a more diversified candidate pool.

As always, we stand ready to meet your hiring needs. If you are currently conducting any attorney searches or will be engaged in an attorney search in the near future, we hope you will consider taking advantage of our services again.

General Counsel Consulting

Attorney Seeking Greener Pastures In-house

According to a recent survey by NALP, the attrition rate for experienced attorneys in law firms with about five years of experience jumped dramatically from 60 percent in 2000 to 78 percent in 2005. A 2006 BCG Attorney Search survey concluded that approximately 80% of attorneys were actively seeking in-house opportunities. These trends are likely to continue in 2007 as attorneys express concerns regarding their work/life balance, rising billable requirements, business development demands, repetitive work, and unlikely prospects of making partner. So why are they looking to transition in-house?

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Diversity, Ethics, and Succession Planning
By Patricia Lee, Search Consultant

Change is in the air, not only in the halls of Congress but also within corporate inhouse legal departments.

Companies typically have various management reasons and timing guidelines for enhancing or growing their companies' legal departments by adding talented and exceptional lawyers. However, due to changes that have recently taken place in the political, legislative, and global environments, companies would be well advised to consider whether they should feel greater senses of immediacy about hiring general counsel and evaluating their succession plans for the upcoming year.

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General Counsel Consulting only represents very highly qualified attorneys to companies across the country. Our candidates are all pre-selected according to your hiring requirements as well as our rigorous selection process. Our candidates all come from top-notch law firms and corporate legal departments around the country and possess superior academic credentials and exceptional professional experience.

The following is a list of "in-demand" candidates we are currently representing:

Mergers and Acquisitions
Current Firm: Am Law 100 Firm
Practices: Corporate
Level: Associate
Law School: NYU
Graduation: 2001
Experience: Experience in mergers and acquisitions and securities offerings, specialization in private equity
Location: East Coast

Intellectual Property
Current Firm: Fortune 100 Company
Practice: Patents
Level: Associate
Law School: University of California, Berkeley
Graduation: 1999
Experience: Experience in development of intellectual property strategy and management of patent portfolios
Location: West Coast

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General Counsel Consulting is a national in-house attorney search and placement firm dedicated exclusively to the placement of attorneys in corporations. We are a division of Juriscape, a multinational corporation that is responsible for getting more than 10,000 attorneys jobs per year. Whether it is our use of media or our internal database of more than 200,000 attorneys who have contacted us while searching for positions, we are confident we can locate the best candidates for your opening(s).

We welcome your feedback regarding all aspects of our General Counsel Consulting Quarterly Alert. Tell us what you think, or ask us about what you want to know. We look forward to our continued partnership with you. For more information about General Counsel Consulting, feel free to take a look at our website at www.gcconsulting.com. If you have any questions or require any additional information about General Counsel Consulting, please do not hesitate to contact us
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