Attorney at Law Magazine sat down with Leslie Firtell, president & CEO of Tower Legal Solutions, to discuss their recent 2021 GC survey which delved into what’s on the mind of seasoned – and traditionally hard to reach – general counsel.
AALM: What are some common factors GCs are looking for in outside counsel?
LF: Alternative pricing arrangements, diversity of lawyers working on their matters, client service, use of contract attorneys.
AALM: How do most of GCs see the industry shifting? How can law firms keep pace?
LF: More and more lawyers wanting to go in-house even though they often take a sizable pay cut. To these people, it isn’t about salary. More of a lifestyle change so law firms can compete by offering perks such as allowing remote work, lowering the billable hourly requirement.
AALM: What are some of the challenges GCs are facing? How are they seeking to overcome them?
LF: Like everyone else, managing workflow, controlling overhead costs and increasing diversity of their teams.
AALM: What are the top three reasons GCs engaged with ALSPs?
LF: Managing workflow, filling a void while someone is on parental leave, assisting with a special project.
AALM: How has COVID changed the needs of GCs moving forward?
LF: In the beginning, much was about lowering costs, i.e. doing more of the work in-house as opposed to sending it off to outside counsel or filling voids for internal staff that was laid off or furloughed. Whichever the case, working from home has created more work and often an unequal balance of workflow.
AALM: Have contract or interim attorneys altered the landscape at all?
LF: Yes because they are filling staffing needs that were often satisfied by hiring a secondee from outside counsel.