Counsel to Counsel is a periodic podcast produced by Stephen Seckler of Seckler Attorney Coaching (www.counseltocounsel.com). It addresses important career, marketing, and leadership issues facing attorneys. The target audience is associates, counsel and partners at law firms of all sizes; but the podcast also addresses issues that are relevant to in-house counsel, law students or any lawyer who is looking for career insights inside or outside of the law.
Counsel to Counsel is aimed at individual lawyers who are looking to increase their own career satisfaction and build their marketing and leadership skills. The podcast features interviews with leading consultants, career professionals and marketing experts who advise attorneys on careers, marketing, law firm management and related issues. The guests are also a roster of successful attorneys who have found career satisfaction inside and outside the law.
Counsel to Counsel is a direct outgrowth of the blog Counsel to Counsel which Stephen Seckler has been publishing since 2005.
Since graduating from law school in the late 1980s, Stephen Seckler has been advising lawyers on career and marketing issues and working with a broad mix of law firms and corporate law departments. He began blogging when legal blogging was in its infancy and his blog Counsel to Counsel was named to the ABA Journal’s Blawg 100 in 2007 and 2008 (the first two years that list was in existence).
Steve has written extensively on career and marketing issues and he has spoken at many law school, law firm and bar association events. He served on the Boston Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Work Life Balance and was Vice Chair of the Law Practice Management Section of the Massachusetts Bar Association. He is active in the Senior Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association, the ProVisors business network, and has been quoted frequently in the legal and business press.
Paths to Partnership in 2023 and Beyond-With Laura Terrell
Achieving partnership was once the goal of most law firm associates. The rules were relatively simple. Work hard, do a good job, and after several years, get rewarded by being elevated.
Today the law firms are more complex. Many associates entering the practice of law do not aspire to become partners, at least not at the first firm they join.
And at many firms, there are different paths to success which don’t include equity partnership.
So, how should a young associate navigate these new realities?
What is the path to partnership in the 2020s and what are other ways to define success in private practice. How do you get there? What is the impact of hybrid work arrangements on career advancement and professional development?
My guest Laura Terrell has some answers.
Laura Terrell is an executive coach with over 25 years of professional experience as a legal and business leader. Prior to launching her coaching practice, Laura was a Special Assistant to the President at the White House, a senior level appointee at the US Department of Justice, an equity partner in two large global law firms, and in-house counsel at a major global consulting and business advisory firm.
Laura has led and managed teams of hundreds of people across multiple countries and has been a top advisor for many Fortune 500 and FTSE 100 companies. Her clients come from a wide variety of industries, including law, education, financial services, pharmaceutical, oil & gas, non-profit, health care, and technology.
Some of them are senior corporate executives like CEOs and general counsels; others are lawyers and consultants, entrepreneurs, and small business owners, as well as professionals who may be returning to the workforce, making a pivot to a new career, or switching roles mid-career.
Laura is my favorite kind of guest because she has such a broad perspective on the legal industry and has experienced legal careers from all sides.
Episode 80-Leadership for Lawyers-Moving Up in Your Law Firm or Corporate Law Department Episode 73-Managing and Advancing Your Law Firm Career
Nailing the Job Interview-A View From Both Sides of the Table with Amy Katz and Nancy Reiner
Job interviews can cause a lot of stress. Over the years, I’ve come to appreciate that this is true whether you are the candidate or the interviewer.
The stakes can feel high. Both sides are trying to assess whether they are right for each other. The candidate may be imagining that they are interviewing for their dream job. They may be worried about the competition.
The interviewer may have a desperate need to fill a role and there are few candidates with the right mix of skills and personality. Or worse, they made a bad hire and they are now trying to fix the problem.
But just like dating, neither side will really know what it is like to be married until they are actually living together.
So what are some ways that candidates and employers can prepare for a good interview? What can candidates and interviewers do to make themselves more attractive to each other? How can candidates and employers get the information they need to make an informed decision about whether to extend an offer or accept an offer?
In this episode, I have invited two seasoned recruiters who share their collective wisdom.
Both are members of the in-house legal recruiting team at the search firm Major Lindsey and Africa.
Amy Katz is a returning guest on Counsel to Counsel. Amy recently rejoined the team at Major Lindsey after spending a year recruiting in-house for her old employer Outside GC. I last spoke to Amy about her journey from big law to in-house to OutsideGC, and finally into recruiting.
Amy’s career experience includes over 25 years as a practicing employment attorney. Prior to joining MLA the first time, Amy was a Member at Outside GC, advising employers on a wide range of employment law matters, conducting workplace and academic investigations, and designing and delivering compliance training. Before that, she served as senior employment counsel for Genzyme Corporation.
Today, she focuses on recruiting general counsel and other in-house attorneys in a wide range of industries, most notably life sciences and technology.
My second guest is Amy’s colleague, Nancy Reiner who spent over 20 years in private practice including stints at two major firms. She last served as a partner at Brown Rudnick where she worked on business, environmental and public interest litigation.
Nancy has been in the legal search business since 2008.
Today she is the leader of the Boston In-House Counsel Recruiting team for MLA where she focuses on placement of general counsel and other in-house counsel for public companies and private businesses, major global corporations and disruptive start-ups, hospital and other healthcare systems, and colleges and universities.
Nancy has placed close to 100 senior-level leaders in corporate legal departments throughout New England and across the country.
Tips for a Successful Job Interview-Live and Virtual
Episode 5-Nailing the Job Interview Episode 91-Transitioning Your Legal Career to In-house and Beyond With Amy Katz
Why Do Rankings and Awards Matter? It’s Not What You Think!
The Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly Reader Rankings Awards are out, and I’m pleased to report that once again, I did very well.
This year I came in first for Lawyer Outplacement and for Business Development Coach. I also came in second for Executive Coaching. So the subject of awards is top of mind for me this week.
I’m happy to be in the winner’s circle and very thankful for the great clients and colleagues who took the time to support me.
But do awards really matter? Listen in to this episode of Counsel to Counsel for my analysis.
Legal Hiring in 2023-A View From the Recruiters Desk with Emily Witt
It has been over a year since I finally left the legal recruiting business to focus exclusively on coaching. Since the market has changed a lot since early 2022, I thought this would be a good time to invite someone who is still in the business to talk about the state of legal hiring. I also thought this would be a good time to revisit the topic of legal recruiting in general and who can benefit from working with a recruiter.
Emily Witt is a legal recruiter with over 20 years of experience. She began her career as an in-house recruiter for Wachtell, Lipton in New York. In 2016, she moved over to the agency side and today, she places attorneys in both law firm and in-house positions. In particular, she enjoys focusing on women's advancement in both tech and healthcare.
Emily hosts the podcast, Beyond the Legal Lens, that helps open the door to jobs in tech and health law. She also has a platform, the Advocate's Mic, that highlights mission-driven attorneys who are creating impactful initiatives in their communities.
Emily shares her wisdom on the state of legal hiring in 2023 and offers some tips about working with a recruiter.
From Biglaw to In-house to Business Role and Back Again with Carl Berglind
In the last two episodes of Counsel to Counsel, I spoke with a lawyer who left corporate practice for management consulting and a trial lawyer who has built a trial consulting business but continues to try cases.
In this episode, I speak with a corporate lawyer who cut his teeth at international law firms, went in-house, moved into a business role, and is back again at an international law firm.
Carl Berglind is a Shareholder with Greenberg Traurig’s Health Care & FDA group. He is based in Denver, Colorado. He focuses his practice on M&A and other complex transactions in the healthcare industry, representing both sellers and investors.
In his business roles, Carl served as the CEO of an early stage animal health / AgTech company. He was also VP of M&A of a private equity backed ophthalmology platform, and Senior Vice President of Strategic Transactions at a Fortune 500 diversified health care services company.
Carl was born in Sweden, and grew up in New York, Copenhagen, and Brussels. He speaks fluent Swedish and conversationally fluent French and Danish. He uses his background by working with international clients in addition to his domestic health care transactional practice.
Episode 113-From Litigation to Trial Consulting with Marc Diller Episode 112-From Corporate Counsel to Management Consultant-Leveraging Your Legal Career with David Lesser Episode 96-David Abromowitz-Practicing Law in the Public Interest at an AmLaw200 Firm
From Litigation to Trial Consulting with Marc Diller
In Episode 112 of Counsel to Counsel, I spoke with David Lesser, a corporate lawyer who transitioned into management consulting and quit his day job as a corporate lawyer.
In this episode, I speak with a litigator who has transitioned into jury and trial consulting while keeping his day job as a litigator.
Marc Diller is the managing partner of Diller Law, LLP. He concentrates his practice on plaintiff side wrongful death and catastrophic bodily injury cases. As a partner with Total Trial Solutions in Massachusetts, he also acts as a trial consultant to other well-respected trial attorneys.
Marc serves on the Executive Committee for the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorney and as chair of the Judicial Administration Section Council of the Massachusetts Bar Association. He has been involved in some of the largest jury verdicts in the state of Massachusetts.
Episode 112-From Corporate Counsel to Management Consultant-Leveraging Your Legal Career with David Lesser Episode 104-Freelance Lawyering and Returning to Work with Montage Legal Episode 56-Practicing Law with a Side Hustle (“Mindful Return”)
Steve is a terrific host and conversationalist - you learn about the ups and downs of being a lawyer, and from a great array of guests. I enjoy listening!
Stephen is an awesome host who shares valuable insights, a must listen!