The pressure for “alacrity over accuracy” on in-house counsel

Deborah A. DeMott, in her essay, “The Discrete Roles of General Counsel,” 74 Fordham Law Review 955-981 (2005), uses this felicitous phrase, which is so true. She cites another work for this supportive quote: “Inside lawyers “recognize that their job is to give the best possible answer they can, but also that the answer is more valuable at a 50% level of certainty today than a week from today at 90%…”

Urgency, keeping up with the pace of a competitive, race-horse business, offends (or scares) lawyers and all lawyers both remember the mistakes speed caused and plead for more time. But clients need advice, now.

To make the transition from careful, thoughtful perfection as an outside lawyer, who bills by the hour so has a financial incentive to practice that time-consuming way, to the speed of “tell me your best guidance on the elevator down” is to become an in-house lawyer.

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