4 tips for working with regional law firms

Experts discuss how to form and maintain strong relationships

Online Exclusive: Learn more about working with boutique law firms

Everyone loves a bargain—lawyers included. And despite the fact that many legal departments are accustomed to regularly receiving expensive bills from their outside counsel, some in-house lawyers are finding that it’s not too hard to find good deals on legal services.

1: Find the right firms

In-house teams that want to start working with regional firms or expand their use of such firms should begin by thoroughly analyzing their legal departments’ portfolios of work.

2: Give them appropriate work

Consultants say assigning the right work to regional counsel is essential, so in-house lawyers need to know what types of work they shouldn’t give to their regional counsel.

3: Create partnerships

Communication is the key to a successful relationship with any outside counsel. Consultants say in-house teams should prioritize establishing a face-to-face relationship with the lawyers at their regional firms. “The personal connection has to be made—no question about it,” says Bellis, who suggests that both sides also schedule periodic check-ins and visits.

4: Evaluate the relationship

In-house counsel should periodically thoroughly assess the quality of work their regional firms deliver, as well as the relationship itself.

Q&A: Marcy Hingst, associate general counsel, Bank of America

Q: Describe Bank of America’s (BofA’s) relationships with regional law firms.

Ashley Post

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