In what ways does a law department enable its company to achieve business objectives? How does corporate management view the law department’s efforts in that regard and how does management want the lawyers to contribute to the business’s goals? Reconciliation of management’s views and those of the lawyers must underlie the law department’s plans if that department is to succeed and prosper. Mr. Lauer’s expertise in defining how – and how well – the lawyers’ efforts can and should further business goals enable his clients to succeed.
Sustained success requires a well-thought-out plan. The demands and pressures on corporate law departments often make it difficult to devote sufficient time and attention to “looking around the corner” and to planning for anticipated needs, not to mention attending to the expressed and unexpressed expectations of corporate management and other personnel. A well-designed strategic plan, based on appropriate interviews and research, sets the stage for and empowers the in-house attorneys to achieve future success. Through the foundational process, Lauer & Associates will assist your department to develop a “value” profile for the department that allows for adequate resources, both internal and external, to address the company’s needs and that provides the means of satisfying the expectations of corporate management and of achieving the company’s business objectives most efficiently and effectively.
For most companies, the cost of external legal service represents more than one-half of the legal budget. For in-house counsel, then, the identification and selection of outside counsel represent one of the most significant decisions they will need to make, one that can have a positive or negative impact on the company’s fortunes. This significance puts a premium on the use of a reliable, defensible process by which the law department identifies and selects “appropriate counsel” for the company. The creation and implementation of the best tools for conducting that process has implications throughout the law department’s operations and responsibilities. Mr. Lauer has developed tools and processes that conduce toward a more reliable identification-and-selection process, one that is replicable and rational.
Realizing the maximum benefit possible from the efforts, on the company’s behalf, of the various providers of legal service and related efforts requires careful and sensitive management of disparate resources and personnel (internal and external). Mr. Lauer’s experience in managing outside counsel and related service providers can serve your law department’s efforts to develop and implement an effective counsel-management protocol.
Selecting and retaining appropriate counsel constitutes the first, important step in deploying external resources to the company’s legal affairs. In order (i) to confirm that counsel provides the service negotiated and in the fashion expected and (ii) to ensure that the selection continues to serve the company’s often-changing need for service, an effective protocol for evaluating counsel is critical. Mr. Lauer has researched and developed evaluation methods for corporate law departments that are designed to implement and reinforce a company’s value-related expectations and needs.
Many aspects of a law department’s responsibility – from selecting appropriate external resources to applying the best internal resources to the matter – depend upon a good understanding of the matter in question, whether a dispute or a transaction or some other type of matter entrusted to the lawyers by the company. A law department needs an effective, consistent method for analyzing each such matter that provides a basis to understand how that matter “fits” into the company’s business plans and objectives and how the resources required for its resolution or completion match up against the resources available. The research that Mr. Lauer has conducted on these issues and his experience, on behalf of other clients, in designing such protocols, are invaluable to any law department that needs such a tool.
In-house and outside counsel must understand how the legal service advances the interests of the corporate client and thereby delivers value to that client. The perspective of in-house counsel differs from that of outside counsel, of course, and the needs of the two groups in respect of that subject thereby differ as well.
Accordingly, the consulting services available to in-house and outside counsel differ. Explore the following pages to see how Lauer & Associates can assist you to improve your delivery of legal service to your corporate client.