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More than ½ of corporate counsel are poised to jump ship.

While about 37% of corporate counsel are thrilled with their jobs — almost 2/3 are not. These less-than-thrilled in-house attorneys are either passively or actively looking. They sense more opportunity — and a bump up in pay.

And even those thrilled can be tempted to make a move as more companies change their legal strategy and approach.

Credit 5 primary reasons for the new-found interest in changing jobs:

Limited Opportunity

78.6% percent of corporate counsel report they are optimistic about their careers — but only about ½ say they are optimistic about careers at their current company — they need to move out to move ahead.

You can talk about career strategy and provide perspective on how you have seen corporate counsel grow.

Low Pay with More Responsibility

Not a winning formula. 16.5% of corporate counsel rate their pay as excellent — 40% report good comp but not great. 43.5% report marginal pay or less.

Help triage problems and decisions. Be a good listener, and offer guidance on asking for a raise.


21% report outright stress. They point to an endless work stream and no sign of relief, a lack of respect, and a world filled with last-minute legal needs.

Your listening skills and sharing resources to help manage stress can be helpful.

Corporate Counsel Job Satisfaction is at a 13-Year Low

Only 32% of corporate counsel report high job satisfaction — compared to 54.5% in 2020. They talk about relentless demands where the intellectual rewards are outweighed by the everyday pressures of the job.

Less Need to Stay

Corporate counsel now stay in their role for 5.4 years — down from 6.1. They are job hopping 16% faster — the law firms who can get wind of these changes can both keep their current client and follow their client to a new home.

Client job hopping can lead to immediate opportunities for law firms. Law firms face either an opportunity or threat when clients change jobs. In addition to the strategies above, we recommend the following to make it work for you:

  • Onboarding any new corporate counsel landing at an existing client
  • Craft questions to help you learn what your client is thinking and what they want in their career
  • Talk with clients to create a sharing atmosphere
  • Share new job opportunities with clients where the relationship is strong enough
  • Offer clients help to alleviate the load — think secondments, legal project management, and strategy planning
  • Develop a 100-day plan to work with your client to help them layout and implement their agenda
  • Use your network to help clients get where they want to go
  • Listening as a sympathetic ear

Helping clients land a new and better gig is a long-lasting gift. The bond created by your confidence, empathy, and investment in the relationship is hard to break. Listening and helping clients relieve stress earns the same high marks.

You have the rare opportunity to make a lasting impact. Carpe Diem.

Best in the market ahead.

The Mad Clientist

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