As the demand for value-added legal services within companies grows, law departments are responding with an approach other than use of outside counsel. GCs are increasingly serving as strategic business partners to fellow C-suite execs, managing the supply chain of who does what, just as their CFO and CIO colleagues do. Most law departments have responded by increasing their headcount and bringing work inside that was previously handled by their law firms. Law firms continue to provide critical 'bet the farm' legal services, centered on advice. Law companies sit alongside law firms, providing process and technology-led 'business as usual' services. Historically, lines have existed between inside counsel and outside counsel, law department versus law firm versus law company and indeed between the law department and business unit itself. These lines are not unique to law, but they are more pronounced with legal than in any other area of business. We are now learning that these lines get in the way of business success. There is growing pressure to solve problems by coloring between, across and outside the lines, providing the opportunity for legal and business teams to achieve incredible outcomes, together.
Lawyers are now challenged to move beyond just the law – because the problems have moved beyond just the lawyers.