Building the legal department of the future

In-house counsel should focus on specific challenging areas to ensure success

With 22 years as a general counsel soon coming to a close, I felt that this was an appropriate time to speculate on the future of the in-house legal department. Through the past 22 years, much has changed for in-house lawyers and the clients they serve. Some of the main areas that will challenge in-house departments in the short- and long-term are:

Ethics. The future of the legal department is, first and foremost, ­dependent on the success or failure of the business it serves. With the Great Recession ­transforming into a rather lackluster recovery, businesses—particularly those that are publicly traded—try to perform according to the stock market’s expectations. The economic viability of any company seems to be tied to short-term gains or losses, rather than its long-term development.

Thomas Lalla

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