Legal headhunters or legal recruiters focus primarily on recruitment for top legal positions such as General Counsel positions for major corporations and financial institutions, as well as Senior Partner positions for preeminent law firms.
The Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants (AESC) has 100+ member executive recruiters and legal headhunters in its network located in cities worldwide. The legal job positions that legal recruiters may be seeking candidates for include: Chief Legal Officer, Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer, Chief Patent/Intellectual Property Counsel, Corporate Secretary, Deputy, Associate and Assistant General Counsel.
Spencer Stuart, an AESC member search firm, believes that the breadth of responsibilities pertaining to the General Counsel indicate the growing influence and importance of this role within the rest of the organization. In the US, “General Counsels are likely – almost by definition – to be fully integrated into the business, play the role of trusted advisor and have a seat at the top table as a matter of course.”
The globalization of the business landscape has impacted all industries and functions, including executive positions in the legal sector that legal headhunters are looking to fill. Those in a global General Counsel position must recognize limitations imposed by both their home country and international law. In order to be considered for senior executive positions, legal executives should possess or work toward developing a number of skills or traits including: international perspective; knowledge of laws and regulations across countries; experience living and working abroad; ability to speak multiple languages; high standard of ethics and integrity; leadership abilities; and close working relationships with the CEO and Board of Directors.
In addition, General Counsels can raise their profile or influence within an organization by overcoming the common perception that the legal function is not commercially-minded, as well as by developing a broader suite of job responsibilities and a greater international focus.
Important cities for Legal industry headhunters include Washington DC, Geneva, London, Toronto, Sydney, Vancouver, Milan, Paris, Rome, Brussels, Houston, New York and Charlotte.