A disturbing finding surfaced in the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association survey of its members for the 2007 In-House Corporate Counsel Barometer, at 4. Based on 722 responses, the report concludes that “in-house corporate counsel are still on the fence about whether or not they are losing touch with the practice of law by working outside of a law firm (51% think they are, 49% do not think so).”
It is disconcerting that the survey sponsors, the law firm of Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg, even thought that it was appropriate to ask the question top. Even more upsetting is how many in-house lawyers perceive that their legal skills erode once they go in-house. The unstated presumption is that to practice law in a private law firm is to practice real, genuine and authentic law.