"Chief Legal Officers Poised to Increase Use of Outside Counsel"

Good news that should mean more jobs for paralegals: "More than 25 percent of in- house law department leaders indicated that they will increase their use of outside counsel in the coming year, according to the Association of Corporate Counsel's 2006 Chief Legal Officer Survey [PDF]. "This is a significant increase from 2005 when only 16 percent of respondents anticipated an increase in the use of outside counsel and it is the highest response since the 2001 survey." Read more →

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"Corporations Decry Official's Detainee Screed"

So far, corporations aren't following Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Charles Stimson's suggestion that they boycott firms representing Guantanamo detainees: "It’s a rare day when law firms get called out for their pro bono work. "But that’s exactly what happened when Pentagon official Charles “Cully” Stimson rattled off a list of firms representing Guantánamo Bay detainees — such as Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw; Jenner & Block; WilmerHale; and Covington & Burling — predicting that businesses would shun their outside counsel for making the companies foot terrorists’ legal bills. “'I think, quite honestly, when corporate CEOs see that those firms... Read more →

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Corporate Counsel trailblazer makes her mark in EDD

All I have to say about this trailblazer is "You go, girl!" Electronic discovery is not that easy for non-techies to grasp: "It was June 2000, and Laura Kibbe, then an associate at Kaye Scholer's New York office, had to deal with e-discovery for the first time. Her client, Pfizer Inc., had just acquired a company whose diabetes drug had been pulled off the market and was being attacked in civil suits. Kibbe, confronting her first mass tort case, had no formal tech background. She recalls that 'the plaintiffs were already into discovery, making requests for e-mail and databases. I... Read more →

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Legal Project Management -- new paralegal responsibility?

Seems to me that senior paralegals (see task list) can help manage legal projects, although I doubt many firms do this formally now: "Managing a legal matter, whether it’s a transaction or a dispute, can be equally as important as executing the actual legal work. Attention to both management and execution will help to ensure that client needs and expectations are met in a cost-effective and time-efficient manner. However, recent surveys indicate corporate/in-house counsel are dissatisfied with their outside counsel. Some of the reasons underlying their dissatisfaction (e.g., high fees/costs, lack of responsiveness, and poor communications) suggest that management of... Read more →

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"In-house attorneys in Minnesota are happy"

Good news -- more jobs for corporate paralegals (at least in Minnesota!): "A new survey found that 95 percent of in-house attorneys in Minnesota are satisfied with their jobs. "The highest paid in-house lawyers worked for health care companies, and attorneys in public companies were better paid than those in private corporations. The average salary for all in-house lawyers responding to the survey was $165,289; for chief legal counsels or general counsels, the average salary was $213,173. [snip] "The survey suggested there will be future demand for paralegals [PDF link] and in-house junior-level attorneys, because many companies are shifting away... Read more →

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VP promotion for securities paralegal

Congrats for this career news! "Crosshair Exploration & Mining Corp. (TSXV:CXX) has made two executive changes. Greg Davis has been promoted to VP of business development. He has been with the company since December 2004. Julie Bolden has been appointed VP of corporate affairs and corporate secretary. She has worked at a number of Vancouver law firms as a securities paralegal since 1989. Vancouver-based Crosshair is a uranium and gold exploration and development company with projects in Newfoundland and Labrador." Read more →

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"Yours, Mine and Ours: What You Need to Know About IP"

Sounds like a very informative (& fun!) roundtable discussion: "This summer, an employee of the Coca-Cola Co. made news when she -- along with two others -- allegedly attempted to steal trade secrets from Coke and sell them to PepsiCo Inc. It's not every day that a company goes public when someone tries to loot its intellectual property, but Coke's decision to do so garnered national attention and illustrates the deservedly high value companies place on their intellectual assets. "When it comes to safeguarding your company's intellectual property, what you don't know can hurt you. To ease that (potential) pain,... Read more →

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"Law Departments Join Firms and Nonprofits in Pro Bono Efforts"

Good news! More pro bono activity usually means more work for paralegals: "In 2000, the Pro Bono Institute formed the Corporate Pro Bono Organization in collaboration with the Association of Corporate Counsel to advocate for and promote corporate pro bono efforts. At that time, 'corporate pro bono was an oxymoron,' said Esther Lardent, president of PBI. 'People looked at you like it was ludicrous to suggest corporate pro bono. It was not widely known and there was no buzz about it,' she said. The political, social and business climate was right for the venture. "'In the waning days of the... Read more →

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Inside Counsel: "Paralegal Power"

Fantastic article [PDF link; scroll down to page 3] about how AXA Equitable Life Insurance hired paralegals to save time, money, & turnover in attorneys. Like, duh...... "It’s a question many a CEO has asked his or her general counsel—Can we reduce legal department spending by bringing more work in-house? "When AXA Equitable Life Insurance Co. CEO Christopher Condron posed the question last year, he didn’t get an immediate answer. Instead, he sparked an intensive self-examination of internal workloads that resulted in hiring paralegals to reduce the legal department’s reliance on outside counsel. “'On a pure cost basis, it has... Read more →

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Paralegals' Database Expertise Needed

See Who Should Direct Your Company's Next Case? "Litigation has become part of the business landscape for most companies. Companies that once faced little or no litigation now find themselves defending against "bet the company" litigation. Often the in-house attorneys are stretched too thin to guide the day-to-day management and coordination of the voluminous litigation or, in some instances, are corporate lawyers not fully familiar with the ins and outs of litigation. "Faced with the challenge of managing their growing and increasingly complex litigation, many companies benefit from employing outside counsel with experience managing and coordinating vast litigation. These counsel,... Read more →

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