In House - The FindLaw Corporate Counsel Blog

November 2009 Archives

Survey Profiles the In House Attorney: Where Do You Stand?

As any in house counsel knows, in house attorneys are a widely diverse group. You have to wear multiple hats, know different areas of law, and finally, be able to juggle multiple unrelated projects.

But the real question is: Do you know the profile of the average in house legal department?

Results from Hildebrandt's 2009 Law Department Survey shed light on the make-up of in house legal departments, and on the demographics of the lawyers working in them.

Here are some of the survey's key findings:

Twitter Policy: In House Counsel's Take on 140 Characters

Companies want to be seen and heard in multimedia.  And while that may inspire corporate Twitter and Facebook accounts, they may have questions regarding liability implications of social media.  And that's where you come in, esteemed corporate counsel.  How do you advise your organization or company on creating a social media policy?

Here are some questions to help frame your discussion with the execs:

Is a written social media policy necessary? 

Would a policy be in response to an incident or questionable use of social media, or is it forward-looking, aimed to outline best practices for social media usage in a company setting or for employees.  You should consider how social media has been used in the past and the specific types of uses that could pose concern for the company.   Even if there is no immediate concern, it may still be useful to draft a simple plan to guide online engagement.

New Rules for Securities Filings: Is Your Legal Department Ready?

10-K, 10-Q, 8-K, S-1.  Nope, not some new fad of alpha-numeric soup. They are SEC forms typically involved in securities filings.  And if you are iffy on these forms or on recent developments in disclosure obligations and new SEC rules, then it may be just the time to seek a little CLE support in these areas.

And if you or other members of your legal department find yourself ready to sign up for a tutorial on SEC filings, you are in luck. The Practicing Law Institute (PLI) has been hosting live seminars on the subject.  The Chicago seminar took place last week at the University of Chicago and the next live session will take place in San Francisco on November 12-13, 2009.

The topics covered in PLI's "Securities Filings 2009" include:

How to Expect More From Outside Counsel

The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) and Serengeti Law released their 8th Annual "Managing Outside Counsel" survey last month, revealing some interesting trends in the inside-outside counsel relationship. 

According to their findings, over the past 8 years in-house counsel have been more demanding of their outside counsel.  The study suggests that in-house has taken on the role of manager to outside counsel to heart and has opted for a variety of measures to ensure competitive productivity.  It shows that while the median spending in-house is at one of the highest levels in eight years, median spending on outside counsel is at its lowest level.  

How in-house counsel is expecting more from outside counsel: