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A scholarly overview of the roles of general counsel

The Bus. Lawyer, Vol. 62, Nov. 2006 at 1, contains a 36 page article entitled “The Tensions, Stresses, and Professional Responsibilities of the Lawyer for the Corporation,” by E. Norman Veasey and Christine T. Di Guglielmo. It describes eight different roles of general counsel and heavily footnotes previous articles that have discussed the roles. A solid piece of scholarship, one which pulls together much of the academic writing on the in-house lawyers, and therein lies the reason for some of my lingering doubts.

Nowhere does this article refer in any significant way to metrics or benchmarks. For example, no mention is made of the ample survey data on the reporting lines of general counsel. My second criticism is the absence of quotes from actual general counsel; nearly all of the material appears to be drawn from secondary sources written by law school professors. The article has the feel of a scholastic, prescriptive view more than a numbers-and-reality based view of general counsel.

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