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General counsel need to serve as references for service providers

From time to time, general counsel who consider hiring me as a consultant ask for references. They want to find out from other general counsel about my abilities and approach. Likewise, once a law department licenses software, purchases equipment, or chooses the products or services of any vendor, sometime later that law department may be quizzed by a prospective buyer about how the expenditure turned out.

General counsel should take those calls, give the caller their best advice, and recognize that user feedback is a very important part of the functioning of a market (See my post of Sept. 18, 2007: call users to learn the most about software.). If you expect references, you ought to give them.