CHICAGO, April 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- InsideCounsel, a Summit Business Media publication, recently published its bi-annual In-House Compensation Report, titled "Standing Out: In-house Counsel Must Increase Visibility to Earn More in 2012." While reporting its most read story of the year, InsideCounsel spoke with experts who shared their research and predictions for the 2012 in-house hiring and compensation climate. One thing became clear: As companies slowly pull from the recession and begin to increase their legal hiring, attorneys searching for new careers must stand out from the competition.
"There is a widespread feeling among employers that the legal talent pool is drying up," reported Editor-in-Chief Cathleen Flahardy. "As a cost-saving measure, many companies are bulking up their in-house counsel staff. And many GCs recommend that prospective attorneys supplement their law degrees with business degrees."
The results of Hildebrandt's annual law department salary survey also found that there is a moderate increase in in-house salaries, indicating that companies are continuing to lift salary freezes. Furthermore, in an effort to draw those applicants that might choose a law firm offering a larger salary, companies are becoming more willing to increase compensation.
In order to be considered for these limited positions, experts recommend that individuals do everything they can to stand out and that lawyers looking for in-house positions must prove that they are proactive thinkers. What distinguishes people is how efficient, cost-effective, and innovative they are when tackling work.
Lawyers face internal pressure to produce and react. Being in tune with the business side, where they are taking on increased responsibilities, is essential to success. Although advancement used to be very linear, experts say that in order to move up, many people are moving sideways.
"As we discovered last year, the financial future of GCs depends on their actions," Flahardy said. "Prove your worth and you will harvest the reward."
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