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The larger the legal department, the less the general counsel does hands-on legal work

During a discussion on management with Cheryl Solomon, general counsel of the Gucci Group, she mentioned that she does quite a bit of actual legal work. It includes review of contracts, negotiations, pleadings, and work product created by other lawyers.

When do general counsel stop doing real legal work? Even deeper, what constitutes “real legal work”? Some chief legal officers delegate almost all the legal work. The factors are too numerous to permit any rule of thumb, but it does seem almost certain that the larger the department, the smaller the percentage of time the top lawyer devotes to hands-on legal work.

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