Estimates of how General Counsel allocate their time

Without the benefit of any survey metrics, but based on my 18 years of consulting to law departments, I believe general counsel, as a group; devote their time to four areas. Here are my estimates of the allocation of their time by area.

Providing counsel to the Board, CEO, and C-Suite executives – 30 percent.

Setting legal direction and policies for the company, by working with others in the law department – 30 percent.

Coordinating with or supervising other activities or functions (such as Compliance, Corporate Secretary, EH&S) – 20 percent.

Managing the operations of the law department, such as personnel changes, technology investments, management initiatives – 20 percent.

I also just read an estimate by the General Counsel of TIAA-CREF that most general counsel spend 25-to-33 percent of their time on litigation; Alcoa’s General Counsel estimates that he spends around a third of 15 percent of his or her time on litigation (Columbia L. School Rep., Fall 2005 at 4, 7)

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