Clocks – a fundamental difference: inside lawyers control it, outside lawyers slave for it

Law firms try hard to get the work done when their inside counterpart asks for it. A hallmark of service to a client is to bust your chops, as the saying goes, to pull an all-nighter, to mobilize all the associates and paralegals the task demands, to meet the deadline and deliver on time. Your client’s clock admits no slippage.

Within the company, some lawyers can move back the hands on the clock. They can decide to continue due diligence another week, or to put off the negotiating session until next Tuesday, or tell the other side they need more time, until Thursday, to come back with a counter-proposal. Inside lawyers have a fair amount of control over the clock, and often decide what time it is. Outside counsel are mostly slaves to the clock.

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