In House

handshake over coffee

Life on the Inside: Advice on How to Succeed In-House

By Lisa Goldstein |

Many lawyers who have spent their careers with law firms are enthralled by the prospect of switching to an in-house lawyer role. The advantages of the demise of the billable hour, focusing on only one client, and the prospect of a better work-life balance all sound appealing. But what does it really take for a lawyer to succeed in-house? Several general counsel have provided a glimpse into their world, including success factors for in-house counsel, challenges of the role, team selection process, and work-life balance.

Uber headquarters in San Francisco

Uber and the Heightened Scrutiny of Independent Contractor Status

By James B. Shrimp |

You might have read that in early September a federal court in San Francisco granted class action status in a labor lawsuit involving the question of whether Uber drivers are independent contractors or employees. This legal inquiry may jeopardize the viability of sharing-economy businesses that are built with the purpose of matching individuals who provide services with those who need that service via the Internet.

Why You Need the Skills of Commercial Trial Outside Counsel

By John C. Amabile |

We all know that the practice of law has changed dramatically in the past 25 years. Perhaps the biggest change, and indeed the most formidable challenge, for lawyers of my generation and older is the increasing call for specialization. In-house counsel often seek lawyers who have a specialized subject-matter knowledge rather than the know-how of a trial lawyer. In this quest for specialists, however, it’s easy to lose sight of one still very important fact: Litigation is itself a specialized skill that can bring significant economic benefits to clients. A true trial lawyer can learn the facts and the law much cheaper and easier than a specialist can learn to litigate, despite his or her knowledge of a particular industry or type of law.

The Benefits of Adding Appellate Counsel to the Legal Team

By Paige H. Forster |

In-house counsel wouldn't think about going to trial without a trial lawyer. Nor would they participate in a regulatory proceeding without an expert on the relevant statutory scheme. These are simply illustrations of a truism that at key points in litigation or in certain types of proceedings, specialists are called for. Sound judgment counsels that this truism also applies when trial court proceedings are over and it's time to head to the appellate court. Whether the goal is overturning a loss or protecting a victory, an appellate specialist is a valued addition to the team.

ABCs for Cybersecurity Solutions the C-Suite Should Know

By Jamie Sheller |

Regulatory agencies, lawsuits, the media and countless surveys and studies are all trumpeting the C-suite's willingness to take responsibility for enterprise cybersecurity. It's generally agreed upon that safeguarding personal customer data is of paramount importance. But there's an overwhelming plethora of resources and information out there. How can officers and directors, with all of their other responsibilities, practically provide oversight for their company's cybersecurity? What exactly are their duties and why should they be prioritized?

Three Ways to Trim Self-Inflicted Harm in Internal Probes

By Frank E. Emory Jr. and Ryan G. Rich |

When not conducted carefully, internal investigations can cause more harm than good. Deciding to investigate a suspected problem is only the first of several key determinations. The responsible executive must plan and execute the investigation deliberately to avoid self-inflicted harm. An organization can protect itself—while still conducting an investigation that is confidential, full and fair—only by carefully thinking about how best to uncover the alleged wrongdoing or compliance issues. Here are three rules for a company to keep in mind to minimize self-inflicted injury from an internal investigation.

Launching a Recoveries Unit Can Change a Law Department

By Wendy L. Rubas |

A successful recoveries unit is a game-changing program for a general counsel, turning the legal department from a cost center to a revenue-enhancing operation. Tired of feeling like a drain on the organization and dreading the budget updates, I recently sought to develop a new way to align my legal department’s work with the financial goals of the organization. The result exceeded my expectations. Here are some of the key lessons I learned along the way.