Q. I am the general counsel of an eight-lawyer law department. I think we have deployed our lawyers well and mostly have them focused on discrete practice areas, such as corporate/securities, litigation, regulatory and intellectual property. I now need a true-blue generalist, who hopefully is more junior and covers most of those practice areas and conceivably is experienced in environmental and M&A work. I realize this is a tall order, especially since I would love to find someone who has been trained in, or is currently in a major law firm. I am having a difficult time finding this lawyer, even though I filled such a position about seven years ago. What are your thoughts on this?
A. A lot has happened in the past seven years (other than having entered a new millennium), which is impeding your ability to find that elusive, perfect candidate. One of those developments is that specialization has continued to increase rather dramatically. Most lawyers, especially in big firms, are now incredibly focused on discrete areas of practice. For example, it is rare to see someone portrayed as a “litigator;” rather, he is much more likely to be identified as someone who is in targeted areas such as commercial, pharmaceutical, products or appellate (to name just a few).
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