So, your company has gone bankrupt, been acquired, or relocated to the Moon. These are good explanations for being between jobs. Nonetheless, a negative perception attaches to your r?? 1/2 sum?? 1/2 when you are unemployed.
When facing this situation, think about the outside law firms you have engaged as more than service providers. Talk with law firms about the mutual benefits of parking there during your job search. Agree upon an appropriate hourly rate for any work you might perform for the firm. Your main objective is to simply have an office in a name brand law firm, along with your profile on the firm's Web site. Let them call you Counsel or Special Counsel.
Unlike conducting your search from an outplacement office, you will interact daily with people who will keep you sharp. More importantly, the stigma of unemployment is removed. For the law firm, this arrangement is a way to say thank you for the business you provided from your previous position. Of course, the law firm will reasonably hope that you land in a new position that will lead to a new client engagement for them. It's a win-win scenario that more in-house counsel should consider.