Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 20


AN

INSIDE

JOB
Instead, they're pushing them beyond their legal
niche to increase their overall knowledge of - and
contributions to - the company.

There is no obvious sign that determines which
lawyers will choose to go in house and which ones
will stay with the law firm life. But recruiters say the
in-house route often comes to the fore for attorneys
when they're in that critical "will they or won't they?"
partnership phase at a law firm.
"Attorneys who are interested in in-house positions
usually come to me when they are five to 10 years out
from law school," says Amy Savage, managing partner
in the D.C. office of Lateral Link, a national legal
recruiting firm. "Some tell me that they've paid off
enough of their student loans, and they can afford to
take the reduced compensation. Others realize at that
point that they don't want to or won't make partner.
It's an attractive option for people who don't go the
partnership route."

THE LURE OF A SINGLE CLIENT
What frequently appeals to attorneys about the
in-house experience is serving a single client. Being a
hired gun in a law firm may bring a level of
excitement and variety, but many lawyers find the
hectic pace and the lack of meaningful daily contact
with a client to be disheartening. There are more than
2,400 members of the ACC National Capital Region
chapter in the D.C. area, working for some 800 private
sector organizations and companies.

Reicin, former ACC global board member and a past
president of the ACC National Capital Region chapter.
"I firmly believe that there are at least four different
role types for in-house counsel: scribe, legal
practitioner, trusted advisor, and business partner."
"Most outside counsel never serve in business partner
roles, have limited trusted advisor roles, and spend
much of their time as legal practitioners and
sometimes scribes," adds Reicin. "Fortunately, as
general counsel at MorganFranklin, I have the
opportunity to provide strategic legal advice, pay
attention to the details, and serve as a member of the
senior executive team helping to build the company."
The transition to being part of that internal team can
be a culture shock for attorneys coming from the
government or mid-size and large law firms, some
GCs say. The immediate task is to learn the business
and adjust to a very different work culture.
But once inside, in-house lawyers say the
environment is a fertile ground for opportunity and
experiences in new fields and areas of the law. And
while law firms hold out the brass ring of partnership,
corporations and large nonprofits can offer numerous
career paths into executive leadership.

GENERAL COUNSEL'S
EVOLUTION
A recent survey by BarkerGilmore reported that the
GC's role has evolved from legal advisor to strategic
advisor for companies. Ninety-seven percent of those
surveyed expected the GC to be part of the
management team by year 2020, a 16 percentage
point boost from just 10 years ago.
"A review of practices throughout the second half of
the 20th century shows that most general counsel
didn't report to the CEO like other members of the
executive team," the report noted, "but rather to the
CFO [in most cases] - a reporting structure that
further fueled the perception that the role of the GC
wasn't on par with the rest of the C-suite, much less
that of an adviser to the board."
In-house salaries have reflected that downgraded
status. Generally, in-house salaries are lower than
those at the big law firms, especially for experienced
associates, but GCs can find their compensation
packages soaring at major companies with salaries,
benefits, and stock options. In some cases, GC
compensation meets or far exceeds packages for
leaders at top law firms.

And many in-house attorneys enjoy the opportunity
to balance legal work, such as providing counsel,
identifying risks, and setting up compliance
programs, with the nuts and bolts of running a
business and learning the nuances of finance and
product development. Helping their employers
achieve their business goals on both a strategic and a
day-to-day basis is a forceful motivation.
"Over the long term, where you want to practice law
may depend upon what roles you enjoy most," says

"In the Air Force, I was trained and mentored to be a
leader," says Jim Winner, general counsel, chief legal
officer, and secretary for Aegis World, a security and
risk management company. "Working in house gives
you that leadership opportunity and experience, as
well as an opportunity in the business to do more
than just traditional legal work. When you come in
house as an attorney, you must integrate yourself into
the business so that you're able to influence the
company in a positive and impactful way, and you
can earn a role as a leader on the executive team or
on the board."

Jim
Winner

Corporate Counsel magazine's 2016 compensation
survey for CLOs and GCs pegged Alan Braverman,
senior executive vice president, secretary, and general
counsel for The Walt Disney Co., as the nation's best

Photo courtesy of Aegis World

20 WASHINGTON LAWYER * JANUARY 2017 *


http://www.dcbar.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - January 2017

Washington Lawyer - January 2017
Contents
Your Voice
From Our President
Our Membership
Career & Professional Development
Practice Management
Calendar of Events
Government & Gavel
Feature: An Inside Job
Feature: Investment Planning for Lawyers
Feature: Making the Virtual Leap
Feature: Lawyers Have Heart
Member Spotlight
Global & Domestic Outlook
Worth Reading
Media Bytes
Partners' Perspective
Ask the Ethics Experts
Attorney Briefs
Pro Bono Effect
Community & Connections
Last Word
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Washington Lawyer - January 2017
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Cover2
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 1
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Contents
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 3
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 4
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Your Voice
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - From Our President
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 7
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Our Membership
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 9
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Career & Professional Development
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 11
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Practice Management
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 13
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Calendar of Events
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 15
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Government & Gavel
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 17
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Feature: An Inside Job
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 19
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 20
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 21
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Feature: Investment Planning for Lawyers
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 23
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 24
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 25
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Feature: Making the Virtual Leap
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 27
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 28
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 29
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Feature: Lawyers Have Heart
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 31
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 32
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 33
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Member Spotlight
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 35
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Global & Domestic Outlook
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 37
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Worth Reading
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Media Bytes
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Partners' Perspective
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 41
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Ask the Ethics Experts
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Attorney Briefs
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Pro Bono Effect
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 45
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Community & Connections
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - 47
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Last Word
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Cover3
Washington Lawyer - January 2017 - Cover4
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