The "modular" General Counsel

The role of an in-house counsel is a busy one. On any given day we can find ourselves dispensing legal advice, certifying documents, finding templates, managing contractual obligations, proofreading that really important paper for the Board/Minister, or just providing general reassurance. Think then of the poor General Counsel who supervises all of that, brings her or his expert legal judgement on the most difficult legal problems, attends the highest echelons of internal meetings, and deals with all those pesky internal budgetary things.

The role of the General Counsel is now simply too large with too many components for one person to do justice to them all. We recommend that (too) busy identify the various functions or “modules” they’re currently performing for their organisation. Which require the General Counsel’s personal input? Which are the General Counsel’s areas of strength, weakness and interest? And once that’s done – perhaps more importantly – we recommend that General Counsel formulate a realistic expectation of what can actually be achieved in a working week. Any modules remaining should be delegated to team members with appropriate skill sets to complement those of the General Counsel.

This article was published in the Law Society’s LawTalk magazine on 4 May 2018. Read the full article here.

Example user stories for in-house lawyers

I've earlier posted about the lawyers using user stories to communicate with technical audiences. Following on from that post, below are some example user stories for in-house lawyers. I've adapted these from some presentations I gave in late 2015. Clearly the user stories below are not exhaustive and will not capture many of the unique elements that make up your practice. But I hope they will be a useful starting point for you.

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