May 26, 2022 – Executive search firm Steven John & Associates has assisted in the recruitment of Conchita Lozano-Batista as the new general counsel of Earthjustice. She succeeds Kelley McKenzie, who retired after nearly six years as general counsel. Steve Johnand Jason Snyder led the assignment. Ms. Lozano-Batista was previously chair of the Sweatfree Procurement Advisory Group, which assists the city and county of San Francisco and its labor standards enforcement office in evaluating industries engaged in the manufacture and sale of goods. Earlier in her career, Ms. Lozano-Batista was a lawyer at Weinberg, Roger & Rosenfeld, a California law firm, according to LinkedIn.
In her new position with Earthjustice, Ms. Lozano-Batista is responsible for providing legal advice and counsel to the president. She will also advise executive and program leadership teams, board and all staff members on a range of matters. Ms. Lozano-Batista is charged with leading and facilitating the risk management strategy for the organization. In addition, she will support the law practice management functions of the public interest law firm, including supervising the deputy general counsel and overseeing other general counsel office staff including the litigation operations manager, E-discovery specialist and litigation specialists.
Founded in 1971, Earthjustice is a non-profit environmental law organization. The non-profit says it uses the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people’s health, to preserve magnificent places and wildlife, to advance clean energy and to combat climate change. Earthjustice partners with thousands of groups, supporters, individuals, and communities to engage critical environmental issues and bring about positive change.
Steven John & Associates is a boutique executive search and talent advisory firm focused on senior in-house legal leaders and their organizations. The firm partners with client organizations to attract, retain and develop chief legal officers, general counsel, chief compliance officers, divisional general counsel, and other senior subject matter experts within corporate legal departments. Steven John & Associates specializes in roles within the legal profession rather than on a single industry vertical. Its clients are diverse and include private and public companies, large non-profits, private philanthropies, and academic institutions. The organizations that the firm works with have offices throughout the U.S., and its typical searches are national in scope.
The legal and compliance market is booming. The number of in-house lawyers and law firm partners with aspirations of becoming a general counsel is at an all-time high. Unfortunately, landing the position is a challenge. Every search has specific criteria established by the executive leadership team and board which must be met. Some of the criteria could include specific industry experience or business knowledge, a background in public company securities and governance, as well as expertise in regulatory, compliance, litigation, M&A, employment/labor law, intellectual property, government relations, leadership, career track record, law firm training, law school ranking, and the list goes on, according to Robert Barker, co-founder and managing partner of BarkerGilmore, which specializes in building corporate legal and compliance teams.
“Keep in mind cultural fit and soft skills which cannot be found on the resume are equally important,” he said. “And diversity can play a major factor in the CEO and board’s final decision. Most are using the general counsel position as a means of adding diversity to the executive leadership team,” he added. The demand for excellence is understandable as the general counsel plays such a critical role. One wrong answer or move during the interview process can lead to immediate disqualification. “Even after an offer is made, any red flag demonstrating a lack of judgment or ethics discovered during the background investigation will lead to a retraction,” said Mr. Barker.
After several years with both a leading attorney search consultancy as well as one of the world’s leading executive search firms, Mr. John launched Steven John & Associates to serve organizations in need of expert legal talent. He brings a wealth of experience in the recruitment of attorneys from a wide range of disciplines. That experience reflects a broad range of industries and includes both private and public companies as well as academic and not-for-profit institutions. In addition to his general counsel search practice, Mr. John has developed particular expertise in the recruitment of attorneys in real estate, intellectual property, higher education law, social justice, and regulatory compliance in a number of highly regulated industries.
Mr. Snyder joined Steven John & Associates in 2016 and serves as the firm’s managing director of operations. He currently leads the firm’s key operational functions including research, marketing, and finance. In addition to his operational role, Mr. Snyder is actively involved in all search execution strategies, working closely with our firm’s clients and candidates.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media