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Marketing the department’s services internally has huge importance

Far from the truth is it that in-house lawyers can just relax and let the work flow in. When you are in-house and only have one customer (business unit Widget or function HR) who can freeze you out or not come to you or turn to outside counsel, “marketing” means your paycheck.

Marketing – getting and keeping satisfied clients – matters more to an in-house lawyer than to an outside partner, who can find replacement clients. In-house lawyers do not have a monopoly, a patent, on serving captive clients (See my post of Aug. 21, 2005: trumpet your successes; Sept. 21, 2005: marketing at the firm versus managing clients of the department; April 30, 2006: myth that internal clients don’t need to market; May 10, 2006: Kraft and marketing; June 30, 2006: law department’s marketing themselves; Sept. 22, 2006: consequences of a law department marketing its services; Nov. 13, 2006: three ways to encourage clients to still use internal lawyers; June 25, 2007: expand the “surface area” of your department’s contacts with internal clients; Aug. 27, 2008: Belgian department’s priorities; and Dec. 15, 2009: ask your company’s marketing department to help your brand image.).

Of the multitude of other topics that pertain to marketing yourself internally I think of newsletters, client satisfaction surveys; status reports; and charging time back to clients. Many more management decisions by general counsel and everyone else in a legal department pertain to the constant effort to sell the services of the legal department to corporate clients.

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