SHANNON OVERCASH: I have similar experience. McDonough is in the maritime and
construction industries, which I did not
have experience with when I came in-house
from private practice. I also have geogra-phies I’m not familiar with. So the Gulf of
Mexico and maritime law, bankruptcies in
the maritime industry, Superfund litigation,
that kind of thing leads me to be in a position that I need to hire attorneys who are
in cities in which I don’t have a lot of legal
LUKAS GRABIEC: I would add also that since
our IPO about six months ago we’ve been
on a significant expansion roll, and that has
been in particular focused a lot on our international operations. So my role in the company is to help drive a lot of international
transactions and help make us go in
these different markets. What I’ve
had to do in those sort of scenarios
has been to reach out to contacts.
It’s about developing a relationship:
getting your name out there and getting yourself present and being in the
know of whatever the particular business we’re handling.
PATTI DIETZ: Our real estate business
is located in 13 states; I’m only licensed in
Arizona, so I rely on local counsel for a lot
of local real estate issues. I think that comes
from your past experience. I’m willing to
go to someone with whom I had a good experience on another issue; it may not have
been a real estate issue. Our outside counsel
don’t all have to sit in one big firm.
EIGO: Corporate counsel always say that
selecting outside counsel comes down to
having a wide circle and
drawing on personal con-
nections. So when you
hire an in-house corpo-
rate counsel, do you ask
about their circle and
GRABIEC: It’s an interesting question. Speaking
with my general counsel
on a regular basis, she appreciates the fact that I’m
the type of person that likes to go out and
work and meet new attorneys. But I don’t
think in-house counsel have been in that
sort of scenario where they’ve thought
about that as a potential extra skill set to
EIGO: Do you look at law firm websites and
bios when seeking outside counsel?
HANSEN: Sometimes, but rarely. I kind of
have a network that I utilize.
OVERCASH: I don’t look at the websites
too much, but when I do look it’s in very
specialized areas; I’m looking not just at
the bio but also their representative pub-
lications and are they writing or speaking
on topics that are relevant to the issue I’m
reaching out on?
If I have a very narrow issue, I’m going
to click through the links, and if they’re
easy to click on and it’s easy to navigate that
does make a difference. I want to see everything right up front and then one extra click
if I need to.
KEOGH: I like looking at law firm
websites but I think I use it more as
a validation tool than actually looking at a website to make a decision.
If there’s an attorney that’s been referred to me, but the site looks like it
hasn’t been updated since 1995 and
I can’t see anything—the picture is
10 years old, for example—would I make a
hiring decision based on that? I don’t know;
maybe. I think it’s more of just a backing
up reputationally what someone that I trust
has told me.
GRABIEC: I would add that I also am a fan
of LinkedIn, so I would definitely make sure
that you’re there and up to date. That’s the
first place I’m going to look if I’m getting
EIGO: Do you rely on directories, such as
Chambers or SuperLawyers?
HANSEN: I suppose they might catch my
eye. But I go back to the fact that I’m going
to need a recommendation from somebody
that I trust that has actually worked with
them and seen them through a case more
than those types of things.
EIGO: How do you stay apprised of developments in your industry? And are you doing your research yourself on these kinds of
things or are your outside counsel doing it?
KEOGH: The one bit of research I find myself doing on issues that come up is I go to
Moderator and panel
State Bar Advertising Manager Lisa Bormaster speaks at the event.
I am a fan of LinkedIn, so I would
definitely make sure that you’re
there and up to date. That’s the
first place I’m going to look.