7 most significant career stories of 2011

The top job-related news of the year

transformative leadership

7 women transform the legal profession

In October, InsideCounsel showcased seven women lawyers who are transforming the legal profession by working to advance other women in the industry. They discussed their paths to success, personal and professional mentors, obstacles and goals. These women also were honored at the 2011 Transformative Leadership Awards for their continuing efforts to make a difference in the industry, and guide and champion women and minorities. Visit InsideCounsel’s Transformative Leadership microsite for more information about these award winners as well as continuing coverage of women making their mark in the legal field.

 

salary report

2011 in-house salary report

InsideCounsel’s annual compensation report in February provided a comprehensive overview of the in-house career market, featuring data on salaries, benefits, in-demand practice areas, hiring trends and more. Legal recruiters and consultants reported some positive signs despite the fact that many legal departments were seeing smaller staffs and larger workloads as they brought more work in-house. Cash bonuses were returning to pre-recession levels, indicating that in-house counsel had a clear incentive to perform well at work and build their worth. Read about 2012 compensation, salary and hiring trends in the February issue of InsideCounsel.

 

Paula Boggs

Starbucks GC joins Obama campaign

In December, Starbucks’ GC Paula Boggs announced that she will be retiring from her position in April in order to join President Obama’s re-election campaign. Boggs has been with the world’s largest coffee chain for 10 years. She joined the company as executive vice president, GC and secretary after having worked at Dell Inc. and Preston Gates & Ellis (now K&L Gates).

Last year, Obama appointed Boggs to the White House Council for Community Solutions, which focuses on community-created solutions for youth development, education and employment. Boggs will be based in both Seattle and Santa Fe, N.M. in her new role.

 

Michael Holston

GC Michael Holston leaves HP

Hewlett-Packard Co. announced in mid-December that its executive vice president, GC and secretary, Michael Holston, will be leaving the company to pursue other opportunities. Holston joined the information technology company in 2007 from his position as a partner at Morgan Lewis, where he handled much of HP’s litigation work. David Healy, a partner at Fenwick & West, will act as HP’s interim general counsel while the company searches for Holston’s replacement.

 

Brad Smith

Microsoft GC receives White House honor

In October, Microsoft Corp. GC and Corporate Secretary Brad Smith was honored at the White House’s Champions of Change event, which recognized several leaders for their efforts in providing disadvantaged Americans with equal legal services. Smith is the co-chair of a program called Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) that provides pro bono representation to unaccompanied children in the U.S.

“I’m not that big on awards, to be honest,” Smith told InsideCounsel. “I think the only thing that matters is what you are going to do tomorrow, and there is no award for that. [The award] is an opportunity to make more people aware of the work we’re doing, and more helpful then for what we want to do tomorrow.”

 

job market

In-house job market looking up

In October, InsideCounsel reported on a survey indicating that in-house hiring may be on the rise. The 2011 HBR Law Department Survey showed that companies are increasing internal legal spend and reducing their reliance on outside law firms, which could mean more in-house jobs.

According to the survey, more than 40 percent of companies plan to increase the number of internal lawyers by an average of 10 percent in the next year. Read more about the 2012 in-house job and compensation outlook in the February issue of InsideCounsel.

 

 

comings and goings

Comings and goings at the ACC and MCCA

The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) and the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA) saw significant changes in some of their top positions in 2011. In February, the ACC tapped Veta Richardson as its new president and CEO after Fred Krebs retired from the position. Richardson had served as executive director of the MCCA for the past 10 years. The MCCA appointed Joseph West, associate general counsel at Wal-Mart, to fill the vacant spot.

Meanwhile, longtime ACC GC Susan Hackett left the organization in June to launch her own consulting firm. She was replaced by James Merklinger, who had worked in the ACC’s large law programs for 16 years.

Contributing Author

Ashley Post

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