As law firms sharpen their focus on attorney recruitment and retention, Fenwick & West has brought on its first chief talent officer to lead those efforts.
Neha Shah Nissen has joined the Silicon Valley firm where she will oversee its attorney recruitment and development.
“We are deeply invested in serving the needs of technology and life sciences clients,” Fenwick chair Richard Dickson said in a statement. “Neha’s experience as a former law firm partner and practice management professional gives her a unique understanding of how to maximize our talent, enhancing the value we bring to our clients.”
Following a clerkship with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California roughly two decades ago, Nissen joined the San Francisco-based McCutchen, Doyle, Brown & Enersen, which merged with Bingham Dana in 2002, according to her profile on social networking site LinkedIn.
She became a partner there in 2005 and co-chaired its committee on associates. That panel developed and implemented initiatives focusing on attorney professional development. In 2008, Nissen became director of Bingham McCutchen’s litigation-area management where she developed and implemented goals for the firm’s global litigation practice.
Five years later, she became its firm-wide director of practice management that oversaw all of the firm’s practice areas and subgroups until Morgan Lewis & Bockius acquired the bulk of Bingham in late 2014.
In June 2019 Nissen became a strategic adviser to Mountain View, Calif.-based Fenwick before becoming its chief talent officer this month.
In her new role, she will oversee its attorney recruiting, practice management, legal personnel and training departments. Nissen will also oversee the firm’s diversity and inclusion, corporate social responsibility and pro bono teams. She’ll sit on Fenwick’s executive committee and co-lead its senior management team alongside chief operating officer Scott Pine.
“Fenwick has attracted an incredibly smart, talented and diverse group of legal and business professionals,” Nissen said in a statement. “My goal is to harness that talent by taking a holistic approach to how we engage and develop our people throughout their tenures at the firm.”