14 June 2010

The Two Types of GCs That "BIg, Local and Firm" Absolutely Loves

There are two very expensive types of General Counsels out there. The ones who think they can do everything and the ones who think they need help to do anything. In my view, in the long run, this kind of over-lawyering and under-lawyering are equally expensive.

The “Everything Calls For A Specialist” GC is known by the speed dial on his mobile phone: #1 Big, Local and Firm, #2 Eye, Pee and Property, #3 We, Seu and Settle, #4 Findem, Buyem and Sellum, and of course #5 See, Em and Ay.

Firms love this guy.

The “I Can Do It All” GC is known by her speed dial to #1 Westlaw representative, #2 NexisLexis rep, #3 Practical Law rep and #4 her third husband.

Firms love this GC too.

Despite my over-lawyering and under-lawyering crack at the start, this GC might actually cost more than the “Everything Calls For A Specialist” GC. At least the “Everything Calls For A Specialist” GC usually gets the job done correctly, albeit expensively.  We all know its much harder (read: expensive) to fix a mistake than do it right in the first place.

I may be The Last Generalist, but I am neither of these GCs. I can fix a broken leg, do an appendectomy, deliver a baby in a pinch, tell you to lose some weight and prescribe Xanax. 

But I won’t perform neurosurgery or a triple by-pass.

Even The Last Generalist knows when to call a specialist.

Thanks for reading.

Richard Russeth

[This is Pt. 5 of "Good GC or Great GC: The Seven Characteristics That Make The Difference", a series of seven weekly blog posts discussing what makes a great GC]

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