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In-House, Don't Over-Lawyer Everything and Listen

Seasoned fashion general counsel Donna Edbril says that "[a] lot of people come with different preconceived notions about lawyers -- and many of those notions aren't positive."

ForeFront magazine got a hold of Edbril and asked her to share her thoughts on what tips would be useful for lawyers thinking of changing over to in-house legal work. She is keenly aware of many of the negative and unflattering stereotypes that lawyers enjoy, and says that in order to be an effective in-houser, a lawyer should dispel all of those preconceptions.

5 Questions to Ask Before Going In House

As with any job, there are pros and cons to going in house. While making the transition, it's important to ask the right questions so that you are faced with any big surprises on day one at your new corporate gig.

Stephen E. Seckler at BCG Attorney Search put together a valuable list of top FAQs. Here, we've taken some of those FAQs and added our own twist.

Evaluating the performance of an in-house legal department can be difficult. There's no billable hour game to be won. Showing how much litigation exposure has been reduced is a difficult art. Hence, many companies adopt sometimes frustrating performance metrics that look at legal department spending, staff workload, and cycle time to evaluate in-house lawyers.

But one insightful metric that is often overlooked is outside counsel. Evaluating outside counsel not only helps you justify performance and cost, but can identify the most valuable outside counsel to work with in the future.

EU Safe Harbor Ruling: Implications for Businesses

When the Austrian student Max Schrems brought his grievances to the Irish authorities, it's doubtful he could have foreseen this ruling by the European Court of Justice.

The ECJ recently concluded that the Safe Harbor Agreement was invalid because it subordinated individuals' privacy concerns beneath "national security, public interest or law enforcement."

It's no secret that the legal profession has been slow to cultivate and support a diverse workforce. Law is one of the whitest, most male-dominated professions, losing to the medical, engineering, and even tech industries when it comes to diversity.

Yet, many in-house legal departments are faced with corporate diversity initiatives which seek to strengthen diversity within the company and its partners. Here's how CGs can help accomplish those goals, helping to lead the way to a more diverse legal profession despite barriers in the industry.

Even as the legal market begins to improve, law firms are losing out to in-house legal departments, a recent survey has found. The legal consulting company Altman Weil surveyed chairs and partners at more than 300 U.S. firms with over 50 lawyers.

Their report found that almost all firms acknowledge that competition from non-traditional sources is here to stay. But the biggest competition is coming from clients themselves, as businesses in-source legal work.

A few weeks ago, a survey of international General Counsels showed that almost half of in-house legal teams used a competitive bidding process when hiring outside counsel. That's a big jump from previous years, up 14 percent, but still surprisingly low.

If you're one of the half of GCs who haven't yet embraced competitive bidding, you should. Here's why:

A survey of international General Counsels by TerraLex, a legal referral company, shines some light into what GCs look for when they hire outside counsel -- and how much law firms will have to improve to keep them satisfied.

The survey gathered input from 127 chief legal officers companies based in the United States and abroad. Its results highlight the importance of outside counsel in aiding with regulatory compliance and the frustrations many GCs face from law firms lack of industry expertise and expensive billing practices.

Everyone needs an extra hand now and then. Especially in-house attorneys. Taking on outside counsel can help a legal department balance its existing work with new obligations, and add specialized expertise where needed.

Finding a good match isn't easy, however. About 30 percent of in-house counsel let their outside counsel go every year. You don't have to be one of them though -- if you pick well. Here's three common mistakes GCs make when hiring outside counsel:

Hiring Outside Counsel? 5 Things to Consider

The decision whether to hire outside counsel is fraught with anxiety. Which firm? How much to pay? How much to have the outside firm do? It's like hiring a new employee (except you're hiring dozens of them).

Hiring an outside firm doesn't need to be stress-inducing. Just keep calm, take a breath, and consider these five ideas when making the leap.