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A common misperception: all in-house lawyers do is review contracts

In a profile, John Mesher, the general counsel of Saint-Gobain Corp., took pains to debunk the “common misperception of in-house lawyers [is] that all we do is review contracts,” Nat. L.J., Vol. 28, May 1, 2006 at 8. Of his 23 attorneys, 11 are assigned to specific business units. But contract preparation and review is only part of their work (See my post of Dec. 3, 2006 about skills to handle contracts.). The other 12 lawyers pursue specialties of various kinds and may never or rarely handle contracts.

Mesher’s point is that in-house lawyers get involved in an enormous range of legal issues, only a small portion of which depend on contracts.