Published on:

What do we mean by value produced by in-house lawyers?

During the past fortnight I have labored over an article on in-house value. The word value perplexes everyone who thinks about it and tries to articulate what it entails. I won’t pretend to breakthrough insights but here I can certainly be the Pied Piper to my posts on in-house value (See my post of May 1, 2006: definition of the term “value-added”; Jan. 2, 2009: one of two hardest questions for a general counsel to answer; and April 6, 2011: view that value has steadily trended upwards.). Some of the article’s germinal ideas have come from posts written on this blog about value produced by in-house lawyers (See my post of Oct. 18, 2005: in-house lawyers don’t want steady diet of rocket science; Dec. 20, 2005: train clients to get the most value from their legal team; and May 1, 2006: broad compass: company goals, or social responsibility.).

Value rises above skills and techniques (See my post of May 14, 2006: value when you manage projects that have legal ramifications; April 8, 2007: Robert Bosch and four ways to add value; March 26, 2008: writing boosts your value; July 15, 2010: simply arraying budget figures doesn’t add value; and Sept. 12, 2010: institutional knowledge creates in-house value.).

How to quantify value mystifies us all, but law departments keep trying (See my post of May 28, 2005: Telstra and value calculation; March 8, 2006: Northwestern Mutual and balanced scorecard; June 24, 2007: graphical depiction of valuable services; Jan. 21, 2009: value-indicator checklist is similar to SLA; July 4, 2009: report on value in legal services – clients set value.).