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Legal Departments: Getting Ready for Summer Associates

Recently we covered the legal issues involving summer interns working gratis. Now we can address a meatier concern: summer associates.

Much ink and gossip is spilled and spent (not necessarily in that order, mind you) over how to handle summer associate culture. But what about summer associates in an in-house setting?

Privacy and data security are some of the most significant emerging legal issues of our day. (If you don't believe us, check out the continued fallout from the Panama Papers, or the OPM hack, or the billions of dollars spent on corporate cyber insurance policies.)

And when it comes to dealing with privacy and data security issues, companies turn to outside counsel, according to a new survey.

In-House Counsel May View 'Outside Counsel Only' Discovery

There are times when even best attempts to obtain a particular outcome fail, and the case of Sanofi-Aventis v. Breckenridge represents that fact in spades. Federal Magistrate Judge Lois Goodman ruled that in-house counsel may view "outside counsel only" documents because the lawyer in question was sufficiently walled-off from conflict.

Important Skills In-House Counsel Should Master

Remember when landing a job at BigLaw was the holy grail of law school graduates? Hard to believe, but that's now old hat. The new brass ring in the law world is in-house -- with luck, general counsel.

But before you can firmly call yourself established in your position of in-house legal counsel, you're going to have to master a few skills first -- like outsourcing your work, believe it or not. Even with that, being in-house is no easy task.

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.