The increasing importance of in-house counsel is one of the most significant shifts in the legal profession over the past twenty-five years. Across the globe, today's in-house counsel has wider responsibilities, more influence, greater stature, and a higher professional quality of life than ever before. In-house counsel have the opportunity to serve their clients both as trusted business partners and as legal and ethical advisors. They have unique opportunities, not open to outside lawyers, to protect and augment the business and reputational success of the companies they serve.
This course examines the strategic role of the modern in-house counsel and changes in the legal and regulatory environment that underlie its new importance. We will look at the demands on the in-house lawyer of combining the roles of legal guardian and business partner, and consider the skills and capabilities needed for success. We will discuss how the prominence of in-house counsel has drawn the attention of regulators, who have imposed new requirements on the position and stepped up enforcement actions and prosecutions. We will address how the different role the inside counsel serves entails ethical, privilege, and liability challenges not shared with outside lawyers. We will also consider the impact of inside counsel as today's most significant purchasers of legal services. We will look at how in-house lawyers have revolutionized the global legal marketplace, driving disaggregation and outsourcing of legal services, requiring alternative billing, sparking the rise of Internet-based providers, and recasting the relationship between companies and their outside counsel.