General counsel for Varnum LLP (GC) is the lawyer for the firm, serving as loss prevention partner, claims counsel and chair/co-chair of the Quality Control Committee, in addition to other defined responsibilities. The GC role is a full time position (2,100 hour expectation) and can be filled by a partner or counsel. While billing time for clients is not necessarily expected, it is not prohibited.
Summary of Responsibilities
With respect to the firm, the GC is primarily responsible for:
- loss prevention, ethics, and training with respect thereto;
- circumstances and claims;
- maintaining relationships with Attorneys' Liability Assurance Society (ALAS) and outside claims counsel;
- firm policy compliance, application and updating, as appropriate; and
- availability under the firm's Open Door Policy.
The GC will have other responsibilities as defined by the Policy Committee such as advising with respect to:
- client intake and conflict of interest processes;
- file transfers and destruction;
- lawyer transition processes;
- internal investigations;
- collection matters; and
- oversight of assigned staff.
The GC reports to the Policy Committee, with the firm's managing partner serving as the primary contact. Specifically, the GC is not part of management of the firm but is a lawyer to the firm.
- Law degree from an accredited law school
- Member of the State Bar of Michigan (or member of another state bar with ability to be admitted in Michigan)
- Five plus years of experience practicing law with a working knowledge of the rules of professional conduct and ethical requirements applicable to lawyers
- Ability to understand, work within and preserve or drive change to firm culture, as appropriate
- Ability to ensure compliance with applicable firm policies and procedures
- Ability to enable firm lawyers to practice as effectively and efficiently as possible within the rules of professional conduct, ethical requirements, and firm policies and procedures
- Ability to work independently and proactively with little or no supervision
- Communication skills necessary to garner the trust and respect of all firm personnel
- Lead the firm's loss prevention efforts
- Serve as an advisor to the Policy Committee, Executive Committee and other firm committees when and as needed/appropriate
- Management of circumstances, claims, grievances, sanctions, subpoenas and discovery requests (including retention and oversight of outside counsel)
- Review firm advertising materials as requested and appropriate
- Liaison with ALAS
- Training of staff and lawyers re: loss prevention; rules of professional conduct and ethics; and firm policies as appropriate
- Meet with every lawyer joining the firm
- Draft or revise firm policies as appropriate
- Superintend firm, lawyer and staff compliance with certain policies
- Review Service & Billing Memorandum and all client-tendered engagement terms
- Oversee Quality Control paralegal and other staff assigned by the Policy Committee
- Protect attorney-client privilege and work product doctrine for the firm
- Resolve conflicts of interest
- Advise with respect to trust account practices and procedures
- Other responsibilities as assigned by the Policy Committee
If interested in applying, please forward your cover letter and resume to Kim DeBoer at firstname.lastname@example.org.