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What is Outside General Counsel?

Updated: Apr 2, 2021

General Counsel can go by a number of names: GC, Chief Legal Officer (CLO), or corporate counsel. It is a company's lead in-house attorney, and its primary source of legal advice. Outside General Counsel is a private firm or attorney that fills this role and performs the associated duties from outside the organization.

Depending on the role and type of organization, Outside General Counsel's job can encompass a variety of practice areas - contracts and contract management, intellectual property (IP) protection, merger and acquisition transaction activity, labor and employment law compliance, and board relations.

Why Choose an Outside General Counsel?

Because of the dynamic nature of their responsibilities, General Counsel are typically seasoned attorneys with extensive practical experience in a variety of practice areas. Outside General Counsel are often even more experienced than their employed counterparts because they serve multiple organizations - not just one. Outside General Counsel are also typically less expensive than employed full-time counsel because their utilization is based on need, and they don't attract statutory or fringe benefits.

How is Outside General Counsel Different to a Regular Law Firm?

There are 3 core differences between Outside General Counsel and a traditional law firm:

1. Affordability

Most traditional law firms charge clients by the hour, and their fees are very high. Outside General Counsel are usually fixed-fee engagements, offering a kind of monthly subscription for on-call legal services. Their monthly fees are often a mere fraction of what traditional firms charge.

2. Client-First Mentality

Traditional law firms have 'quotas' that their attorneys have to bill to their clients each month. This leads to a focus on fees, charging for every email, call, and thought. Conversely, Outside General Counsel are more focused on creating value for their clients. Like in-house counsel, Outside General Counsel become an extension of their clients' business, and work toward their growth and success rather than a monthly fee quota.

3. Availability

Traditional firms tend to 'nickle-and-dime' clients at every turn. Unsurprisingly, clients become reluctant to call or email them to ask important questions. This leads to costly mistakes and, ironically, more legal fees. Because Outside General Counsel engagements are usually fixed-fee retainers, clients freely call upon their Outside General Counsel without fearing a surprise legal bill at the end of the month. This greater availability leads to more-informed decision-making, and better partnerships.

How Can I Get Started?

Simple! Contact Out-House Attorneys today to learn more about our Outside General Counsel and 'General Counsel as a Service' solutions. Whether you're looking for a monthly subscription, fixed-fee, or hourly engagement, we have an affordable solution that fits your organization.

The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. Instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only. Information on this website may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information. This website contains links to other third-party websites. Such links are only for the convenience of the reader, user or browser.

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