Lawyers face many day-to-day challenges. A big one for all: just getting work out the door. For some time, in-house counsel have had the added challenge of getting better over time at getting work out the door. For lawyers in private practice, that one is becoming more important. For them, we add another: just getting work.
Getting work out the door requires vigor, both in the physical and intellectual senses of the term. Improving how you work, I think, requires velocity; it’s not just speed, it’s “rate of motion in a particular direction in relation to time.” (See, two years in engineering school was not wasted). And when you think you are done, many lawyers in private practice now realize that having good work from clients that pay and pay well is not to be taken for granted. So some level of visibility is needed now, and will become even more important in the coming years.
Vigor is something you either have or need to work to get. No Wired GC branded nutritional supplements. Yet…
Velocity is becoming increasingly important. To help with some of the tools available for in-house counsel to get things done better (quicker, with quality and lower cost), I have been writing about the Legal Pyramid, and gave an online seminar on April 7, 2011 about it.
Visibility is an interesting one; more about it down the road here. This was the subject of a mildly provocative and entertaining essay this week by former outside lawyer and current in-house counsel Mark Hermann. I shared a platform with Mark a few years back; I agree with some of the things that outside counsel “collect” with the best of intentions in the hope of better visibility. I depart at the point where there is an assumption that in-house counsel don’t need to concern themselves with this last “V.” Again, more later.
Vigor, Velocity and Visibility. Maybe not “Veni, Vidi, Vici” for the corporate legal set. But it’s not a bad place to start. And, hey, if you can best the competition in four hours you had better been billing for results, not time. I think the word is pretium.
(This is from Philip Morris; it doesn’t mean project management).