In late 2003, the Arizona Attorney published a roundtable discussion among six senior corporate lawyers (40 AZ Attorney 12 (Nov. 2003)). Asked whether he had ever fired outside counsel, the General Counsel of Dial Corporation said “yes” and explained. “The times we have faced a problem is when we have someone too low a level working on our case. And you feel like you’re not getting enough bang for your buck, so to speak, and then things aren’t moving along quickly enough.”
Like many issues of law department management, the golden mean holds true. Law departments do not want too much partner time; they don’t want too much junior associate time. They want Goldilocks, Esq. time, with judgment, experience, and a modest billing rate.