Recruiting top legal talent and transforming legal teams

The complexity of the in-house counsel role has increased

The role of general counsel is aptly named. Previously expected to be legal experts, today they must also be leaders and business partners that facilitate the company’s mission and strategy. This mandate has raised the bar for the profile of the general counsel and the legal team.

To succeed in this pressure-filled environment, corporate counsel must think strategically and balance management of risk with proactive response to opportunities. They must also be able to assume the role of the company’s “conscience,” leveraging the law to full advantage without sacrificing corporate ethics and integrity.

Our Legal Center of Expertise helps corporations, associations, nonprofits and professional services firms attract, develop and retain best-in-class general counsel, chief compliance officers and other legal professionals. We work with organizations like yours to identify world-class legal leaders who will serve your organization as strategic business partners, possessing and providing multifaceted leadership skills.

How we can help

Our Legal Center of Expertise has deep substantive knowledge and extensive experience sourcing talent for senior in-house legal and compliance leadership roles. Our consultants also serve as trusted advisors to Fortune 500 general counsel on a range of talent-related issues, from succession planning to executive coaching.

Here are some of the challenges we can help you address:

Recruiting legal leaders with the experience to succeed

Legal teams must serve as business partners to the C-suite, board of directors and leaders of major functions and operations throughout the enterprise. Legal acumen isn’t enough to succeed; corporate in-house attorneys also need a broad business perspective that enables them to understand legal consequences in the context of business outcomes. To ensure you recruit the best legal talent, we:

  • Identify the skills required to succeed in in-house legal roles, including communication and negotiation skills, listening ability, learning agility and financial acumen
  • Customize a Success Profile to the needs of your organization to identify what “good” looks like for each role
  • Measure cultural fit with the organization and leadership team through assessments

Developing a leadership pipeline through strategic succession planning

Lawyers are well-versed in specific areas of law from their education and experience. But what they often lack is leadership and soft skills, which can hinder their ability to find opportunities to grow and make new contributions to their employer. We help organizations:

  • Assess high potential performers to find talent with the skills, traits and drivers to serve in a leadership capacity.
  • Identify development needs to ready talent for future leadership roles.
  • Design training programs that improve professionals’ understanding of the business and soft skills.

Creating employee engagement and talent retention strategies

While the challenge of legal work can be energizing, the stress and demands of that work, combined with the competitiveness of the market, can make it difficult to engage and retain top talent. We help organizations:

  • Understand the unique needs for legal support through surveys and assessments.
  • Benchmark reward and benefits programs to ensure they are competitive in your market.
  • Tailor engagement strategies and development plans to individuals, ensuring growth, intellectually stimulating work, recognition and interaction with senior management.

Building a more diverse legal function

Ensuring our clients have access to diverse talent has been a priority at Korn Ferry for years. We both recruit fully diverse slates and help organizations remove obstacles, rooting out biases that hamper the development and elevation of diverse candidates. We help organizations:

  • Diagnose barriers to progress in your organization.
  • Develop a comprehensive, data-driven approach to remove the identified barriers and biases and promote change.
  • Reshape your talent systems, including policies and processes, using inclusive design principles.

Our experts

Our experts are the best at what they do. We work with your team as an honest and inclusive partner to achieve and exceed your business goals, and we have the knowledge, expertise and experience to help you achieve greatness.