In House: Tales from the Legal Department Archives
In House - The FindLaw Corporate Counsel Blog

Recently in Tales from the Legal Department Category

Hiring Summer Associates: 3 Mistakes to Avoid

Summer is fast approaching, and that means summer associate interviews are well underway.

Are you planning to hire an intern? Here are three mistakes to avoid so that you and the associate can both have a productive experience:

Mistake No. 1: Not Being Ethical.

Don't hire a summer associate unless you know that you'll be extending an offer later if she meets expectations. This isn't necessarily a matter of professional ethics, but rather personal ethics. If you waste your intern's summer, you're dealing a blow to her career before she even begins it; that's not fair and it won't reflect well on your firm, as Business Insider notes. If the associate is to be unpaid (not all law is BigLaw, after all), be sure to follow the Department of Labor's guidelines for unpaid interns.

You may have left the confines of a law firm but you are still a member of a team -- and this week is a big week for corporate teams. Wednesday is Administrative Professionals Day. You forgot? No problem, we've got some tips for your here (just whatever you do, don't delegate gift purchasing to your admin).

Now that your admin is covered, now you've got to deal with the kids. Yes, kids. Thursday is Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day, and in the spirit of nurturing our future leaders, you should participate.

They say "diamonds are forever," but not so for general counsel. Last week, Tiffany announced that Patrick B. Dorsey, Tiffany's general counsel and secretary will retire, effective May 22, 2014.

That's not all, Princeton University is also losing its general counsel -- and the position is not yet filled. Looking for a new job in New Jersey anyone?

If your company is on Facebook, and has a loyal following, it's quite possible that there are fan sites or Facebook fan pages on social media. According to Facebook's rules, fan sites are permitted so long as the brand's copyright is not infringed, doesn't "mislead others into thinking it is an official Page," and doesn't "speak in the voice of" the brand.

A Tale of Two Brands

In 2008, Coca-Cola learned that two of its fans created a Facebook fan page and had millions of "likes." Seeing this as an opportunity, Coke hired the two, giving them resources to build the page, and making their fan page the official fan page, reports Bloomberg.

In 1979, Mary Ann Hynes became GC at CCH Inc., the first woman general counsel of a Fortune 500 company, according to Corporate Counsel. Since then, women's ranks of general counsel at Fortune 500 compaines has grown. In 2014 the figure rose to 106, with women leading 21% of Fortune 500 company legal departments, says Corporate Counsel.

Invariably, findings like this bring up questions and comments. Some praise the growth, while others think the "growth" is moving too slowly. Here are some takeaways from the study about women leading law departments.

Legal process outsourcing is a growing trend, according to Staff.com, as it "is emerging as a lower cost and fast growing alternative to the traditional model," (they even have an snazzy infographic to prove it). Has your company used legal process outsourcing? Interested? Here are some basics on determining whether legal process outsourcing is right for your company.

Why Use Legal Process Outsourcing?

The main reason to use legal process outsourcing is cost. According to Corporate Counsel's informal online survey it conducted last year on the legal process outsourcing industry, of the companies utilizing outsourcing, 68% chose to do so "to reduce costs." In fact, of the companies they interviewed, all had started outsourcing after the downturn. Other reasons to outsource legal process are to save time, manage risk, and create efficiencies, according to Infosys.

In the March issue of ACC Docket, the Association of Corporate Counsel released its findings of its "largest global survey of CLOs and GCs," the Chief Legal Officers 2014 Survey.

Methodology

In comparison to other surveys, this particular survey has an "international flavour" with attorneys from 41 countries responding. The ACC notes that they received 1,220 responses, which reflects a 17.65% increase over last year's response rate, and a 23% increase in non-U.S. responses. Aside from the U.S. and Canada, other countries with high response rates included Spain, France, Germany, Singapore, Argentina, Israel, Switzerland, Brazil Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

Last week, the United States Patent and Trademark Office named Sarah Harris as General Counsel, even though the USPTO's top leadership position is still vacant, reports Reuters.

Like many patent attorneys, Sarah Harris obtained a degree in electrical engineering before receiving her J.D. She went on to establish her career as an intellectual property attorney at Hewlett Packard and Compaq, was of counsel at Hayes and Boone, and Chief Intellectual Property Counsel at Cooper Industries, according to the Practising Law Institute. In addition, Harris was formerly president of the Houston Intellectual Property Law Association.

We recently posted about the influx of new general counsel at about 10% of large organizations, and the expected corollary to that is former general counsel are leaving those positions. The thing is, some general counsel are not leaving of their own accord.

Here's an update of the recent law department shakeups (some voluntary, some not) making headlines.

Is In-House Entertainment Law Right for You?

Are you uninspired by your corporate law job and have an insatiable attraction to seeming glamour of entertainment law? With the Oscars right around the corner, your interest in the field might be intensifying.

Though an in-house position at a Business and Legal Affairs department might sound like a dream job, the road to getting there is often arduous.

Here are five tips to consider before gunning for an in-house entertainment position: