Relevant Matters

The easy part of my job is keeping InsideCounsel current. All that takes is reporting on the news. But it's much harder to ensure the magazine stays relevant. That requires a constant re-evaluation and adjustment of our coverage and plans.

One of the adjustments we will make this year is to publish more solutions-based stories. I have yet to meet a general counsel who has time to flip through a magazine for fun or to "stay informed." Most are looking for stories that not only identify the legal problems that are blindsiding companies, but also outline the preliminary steps they should take to protect their clients. This is my promise: If you invest the time in reading this publication, we will make sure it is time well spent.

The other adjustment we will make is highlighting more department management best practices so you can spend more time on preventative lawyering. This month's cover story is an example of this type of coverage. In it, Managing Editor Adele Nicholas takes a look at how pro-bono programs can re-energize your department and help your staff improve their legal skills. These programs also have become valuable recruitment tools. "Young lawyers are energized about community and public service and are encouraging their companies to be more committed than before," Jim Jones, chair of the Pro Bono Institute, told Nicholas.

Some of the other upcoming "management" stories we will be publishing include the Budget Guide (February), a profile of effective cost-cutting practices; the Hiring Survey (March), an examination of recruitment trends; and the In-House Compensation Report (April), an overview of salaries and benefits.

We also are introducing some new features for 2007. The first is a column by Michael Baroni, the general counsel of BSH Home Appliances Corp. Michael will talk about life as a solo in-house practitioner and offer advice on dealing with the challenges of managing a small legal department.

We also will be expanding our tech coverage. The first step in that direction is launching an online message board through which in-house counsel can ask each other questions about how to use technology to manage legal processes. In addition, Charles Blixt, the former general counsel of R.J. Reynolds, will be writing an online column about how technology can help you achieve your department's goals.

These are just a few highlights of our 2007 plans. The end goal is make sure that InsideCounsel and remain the most relevant sources for in-house counsel.

Staff Writer

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