Tmesis, and outside lawyers vying for direct access to clients

Deep down, and in their most honest self-reflection, law firm partners might wish there were no in-house counsel. Those inside lawyers clog the arteries that would otherwise flow smoothly, but for their legal cholesterol. The unexpressed resentment is dis-lawyer-heartening – a tmesis, which means the “separation of the parts of a compound word by another word inserted between them” as explained in the American Scholar, Vol. 75, Spring 2006 at 81 (Barbara Wallraff).

What law firm would choose partnering, a Janus-word that stares simultaneously at the incompatible ideals of making lots of money but carrying the bag for corporate counsel, if there could instead instructions straight from the executive to the partner? There must be competition at some level between the two sets of lawyers who want work and accolades from the same ultimate client. The inside lawyers is un-meddling-desirable.

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