Care and feeding of Corporate General Counsel

General counsel say that they find lawyers from a number of sources including:
-Referrals from trusted sources (usually other general counsel)
-Publications they read in which lawyers write about the topics of their concern

General counsel say they look for lawyers who
Respond promptly
-Are expert in their field
-Have a good reputation
-Know the client’s industry
-Have a relationship with the company in the past
-Are members of a firm that has a good reputation
-Are confident, but not arrogant

Reputation is very important to general counsel because they are always reviewed and criticized by someone – everyone – in their organization. While reputation is important in high stakes matters, cost is very important in commodity-type work.

Do what you can to relieve the stress of general counsel. That is their message. That’s how to bind yourself to your corporate client.

These were the sentiments expressed at a recent meeting of the Los Angeles chapter of the Legal Marketing Association by several general counsel.

Another message that came through in the presentation is that the maxim that clients seek lawyers, not law firms, is not entirely true. Rather, it is true that clients — Corporate America — do look at the law firms. They have to in order to CYA because, as noted above, their every move is scrutinized by everyone else in their corporate organization. It’s a lot easier to say a mistake was the result of an action by a major law firm than it is to say it was the result of a sole practitioner or small firm. This prejudice of large organizations (clients) regarding the size of their law firm is a fact of life. There are many ways to deal with size bias, but the prejudice must be met


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