Connections at Firm The post-Sarbanes-Oxley environment calls upon governing boards to place renewed emphasis on the proper role of corporate minutes as a record of organizational and board conduct.
Even I admit, as a law practice management consultant, that it sounds like "consultant-speak" or "management-speak. They need to stop behaving so much like lawyers and start behaving more like their business-minded clients, including how they approach their work and define the results they plan to deliver.
The environment or culture in which a lawyer works defines how her success will be judged; while basic, this is a pretty good definition of what separates good in-house counsel from good outside counsel. In-house counsel want to be evaluated on a scale defined by business metrics, and outside counsel want to be evaluated on a scale defined by legal success.
But defining the goal does not help you figure out how to be a better partner. Further, good alignment is hardly a distinguishing trait — it's table stakes. It's the floor, not the ceiling.
Alignment is the equivalent of Strategic Business Partnering 1.
So how do you put your strategic partnering practices into overdrive? Or and here's my lapse to a consultant-speak phrase that I have to admit I use all the timehow do you accelerate your department to help them not only better support, but advance the business?
Aligning legal and business priorities and supporting business functions When I look at the real changes taking place in legal departments internally in their own operations, and externally in their relationships with law firms and other legal service providersI see two kinds of change: Both are good, but they are very different and each drives sometimes competing or hard-to-reconcile results.
One is operational and the other is strategic. Sustaining changes are those that help lawyers do the jobs they always do, though better and more effectively. These changes are done through technology or management practices or re-engineered processes that help lawyers work more efficiently or faster, with better results, and at lower cost.
Sustaining changes drive better alignment and support businesses by providing services better, albeit in the same manner that lawyers and clients have always assumed were appropriate to a lawyer-client relationship. But such improvements in the delivery of traditional legal services do not fundamentally challenge what kinds of work lawyers or their supervised outsourced staffing companies or LPOs provide, or whether lawyers should be involved at all, or whether a large variety of legal services they spend a lot of money on are either necessary or valued.
They are rarely truly strategic.
Transformative legal change, on the other hand, is the kind of disruptive change that challenges lawyers to think about what they're not doing or what they shouldn't be doing any longer. It's a discussion that is totally focused on what clients need and not what the lawyers want.
Transformative legal change suggests important questions like: But what I am interested in is whether the data shows us that the enterprise risk is high enough that we should have lawyers addressing that problem in the first place?
Are you talking about any of this in your legal department? Or does your team assume that your response would be "that's just pie-in-the-sky conversation; it's interesting, but we've got work to do. Advancing the company's business If you are interested in developing and expanding strategic partnering with your client at a 2.
What is the best possible role our legal department can play in advancing the company's business?
And, in order to not limit yourself to "legal" answers, have this conversation guided by a clear understanding of the company's challenges and opportunities. How can we spend more time working on proactive strategies, rather than on "remedial" or reactive ones?
Can legal move from being a cost center to quantifying how it is a profit center for the company?
Can we measure our value in more meaningful terms than the number of hours we've worked or the number of cases we've managed? Can we measure what didn't happen because we were there before the problem arose?
Can we measure the value of the contribution we've made to major business advancements in business dollars? Should we be focused on training business managers to solve their own repeating "legal" problems with us coming to the rescue in the rarer circumstance we haven't?Craig Mills, shareholder in the firm's Litigation section, talks with Rob Edmund, the chief legal and talent officer at Kforce, as part of Corporate Counsel's Legal Innovators Interview Series..
Listen to the discussion. Nov 09, · David Hoffman, Intel's associate general counsel and global privacy officer of the Santa Clara-based company said, “our model bill is designed to spur discussion that helps inspire meaningful.
GENERAL COUNSEL PANEL. AM - AM.
Hidden page that shows the message digest from the home page. About the Meeting. About the Meeting Don’t miss the Corporate Counsel Workshop in ! It features leading experts in the MPL/HPL field as well as a group discussion where attendees can share their experiences on the topics that are most urgent for them. Overview. 1 About the Report This summary report was prepared for participants in the General Counsel Corporate Governance Summit and presents some of the key discussion topics and views of participants at the summit.
This panel will feature top legal officers discussing how to excel in a corporate legal environment. The goal of this panel is to provide proven tools and techniques to allow in-house counsel to become leaders of a company's legal and executive team. The 20th Annual Fall Forum has an excellent lineup of presentations on cutting edge topics that will appeal to a diverse corporate counsel audience, including a panel discussion on the #MeToo movement, annual General Counsel Roundtable, a luncheon keynote discussing the .
Corporate Counsel Institute Program and Schedule The discussion will include the respective roles of boards of directors, senior management, and in-house legal in achieving these objectives and managing the associated challenges.
The general counsel, not the senior partner in the law firm, is now often the go-to counselor for the CEO and the board on law, ethics, public policy, corporate citizenship, and country and.