A healthy network may make busy in-house counsel more productive

When supply exceeds demand, networking remains crucial for in-house counsel

Recently I had the opportunity to stand on a small stage and look out over a crowd of in-house lawyers mingling with some law firm sponsors and I (for once) paused for a second and took it in from my bird’s eye position. Our reputation as lawyers is that we are just a tad stuffy. Whether you believe it is warranted or unwarranted, that’s what is out there. But that is not what I saw. I saw 30 or so in-house attorneys having great conversations, accompanied by genuine laughter and smiles, and you could really sense the formation of new connections.

Connections are relationships, and in the (post?) recession times, you need relationships. Keeping your head down in your department and simply grinding away no longer gets it done, as we have discussed many times in this publication. It doesn’t work for outside counsel either. We all know associates, of counsel and partners who came into the profession “just wanting to do good work for their clients.” Now they are being asked to sell (dramatic menacing music should cut in here). Connecting with others is key to our continued survival as individuals in this profession.

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Stephen Kaplan

Stephen Kaplan is senior vice president and general counsel of Connextions, Inc.

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