July was a surreal month for Betsy Bayha.

NetIQ Corp., where she’d been general counsel for five years, had been hit by the wave of private-equity-driven deals sweeping the country. Management announced in April that the business software company would be bought by Seattle-based AttachmateWRQ, owned by a consortium of private equity firms. Though the $495 million deal made good business sense, the company’s employees suddenly faced a tenuous future — including its GC.