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Countervailing pressures of a company lawyer’s longevity and lock-in

The longer a lawyer stays in the same law department the more embedded the lawyer becomes. Known to everyone in the company, familiar with the execs and the cleaners, politically attuned, a compendium of historical business knowledge leavened with legal savvy, the lawyer’s value grows proportionally (or faster) with tenure.

Yet, the more years you stay, the harder it is to leave, since your knowledge base, your grasp of the business, its goals, operations and executives, cannot be transported. Were you to join another law department, that tacit and explicit wealth of knowledge evaporates.

So the longer in-house lawyers stay with a company, the greater their worth, but the stronger their chains (See my post of April 25, 2011: tenure of in-house lawyers with 8 references.).

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