For my first column of 2010, I'm indulging my inner Nostradamus and forecasting legal department hiring behavior for 2020. My predications start with a logical extension of how my corporate clients made hiring choices in the 2000 to 2010 decade that is now in the books.
In 2000, 70 percent of the attorneys I placed with law departments came out of law firms and without prior inside counsel experience. In 2009, 100 percent of the attorneys I placed came from other legal departments. Reasons include the availability of talent from troubled companies and a move away from using search firms to fill junior level in-house positions. Even so, the cultural dichotomy between law firm and corporate employers clearly widened during the past ten years. Partners and senior associates from law firms became far less marketable for inside counsel positions at all levels.