How In-House Lawyers Can Survive In Uncertain Times

uncertain times

In the sagacious words of many wizened lawyers, “this too shall pass”. We live in uncertain times, but we have been there before and will return to uncertain times again once this latest period of wonkiness exits our global system. But how should in-house counsel deal with uncertain times? Fortunately, we have luminaries such as Sterling Miller who have seen it all and more than once in many cases, and who are willing to share their knowledge and experience with their peers. Having anxiety is normal – and the legal profession was not exempt from it during the toughest times of the pandemic. Rest assured that with ebb there is flow, and that despite the tumultuous conditions the in-house legal hiring market is still chugging away – especially with the advent of popular remote legal jobs and high-level GC jobs.

“I do a lot of speaking with and presenting to in-house lawyers and legal departments.  It’s something I really enjoy doing because I get to share my “wisdom” with everyone (which is just a fancy word for “oldness”).  By this I mean I have been around a while and have spent most of my working years as an in-house lawyer.  And, like anyone who has completed the solar elliptical as many times as I have, I’ve dealt with a lot of different things as an in-house lawyer – some good, some bad, and some still defying categorization years later.  On the bad side of the continuum, I was there for the first internet tech bubble (and the second), along with the mortgage meltdown crisis.  I was in the travel business right after 9-11.  I have been through natural disasters, multiple layoffs, budget cuts, reorganizations, mergers, acquisitions, sales, going private, going public, and all the rest of it.  I oversaw bet the company litigation, where literally the livelihoods of 10,000+ employees depended on my team not losing a piece of litigation….So, here we are again.  Things feel shaky with the economy and there is a good bit of unease out there in the business world and, therefore, in the in-house legal departments that serve those businesses.  I wrote about some of it last month in my post on things to watch out for in 2023.  But even more so, over the past few months, I have been consistently asked to talk about/present on how in-house lawyers can succeed in an environment of change and uncertainty….So, this edition of “Ten Things” will discuss some of the things in-house lawyers (and legal departments) can do to survive and thrive in times of change and uncertainty”