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Retaining former lawyers as temporary on-contract lawyers

A law department in Boston has had several lawyers leave the department, for reasons unrelated to the merit of their work, yet not accept other job offers.. Since those departures, the general counsel has several times retained the lawyers to handle spill over work, specialized work that would have forced him to go to more costly outside counsel, or work that the departed lawyers had done before.

Advantages of retaining former lawyers on an as-needed basis include, sometimes, a lower cost per hour, reserve capability that is available immediately, familiarity of the “temporary” lawyer with the company and its personnel, and the possibility that a good performer might return.