An Outside Perspective on In-House Counsel
Bright, talented, multitasking PR superstars...and that's just how in-house
counsel describe themselves. But how do others in the industry view their
corporate counterparts? New York criminal defense attorney, Scott Greenfield
, lent his interesting perspective after
attending a massive gathering of in-house counsel held in Chicago earlier in the
summer, in his blog titled Simple Justice
His post, "Partying In House, or Why General Counsel Aren't Like Us," is
a humorous review after spending three days with "brethren whose life is spent
behind desks rather than in the well."
What did his encounter reveal? Here are a few of his choice
- "Who are you with"?"...."Everybody is with 'somebody'. The idea that you
weren't with 'somebody' was as foreign, as well, not wearing a pinstripe
- "Unlike trench lawyers, [in-house attorneys] were inclined to be agreeable,
to follow instructions, and to be on time and prepared."
- "Contrary to popular belief, [in-house lawyers] don't wear Grateful Dead
t-shirts when they are amongst their own...These are guys that show up in a
pin-striped suit when no one makes them."
- "The in-house guys were not merely friendly, but exceptionally smart and
savvy within the confines of their niche."
The in-house position is a unique space within the legal spectrum. The legal
department is the standing army of a company, ready to defend executives, steer
the company from potential liability, peace keep, and ally with outside
battalions to get a job done.
Whether or not his observations change the way you view yourself as an
in-house attorney, they nonetheless offer interesting perspective. So now you
can add "well-dressed" to your self-description of in-house practitioners...and, okay,
sure, go ahead and tack on "smart" and "savvy" too.