To Empower Corporate General Counsel to Lead a
Community of Legal Innovators Comprising:
1. In-House Thought Leaders who are excited to drive beneficial innovation and change in the legal profession;
2. Dynamic Law Firms who fearlessly embrace new technologies and innovative practices to control costs and fully align their services with client objectives; and
3. Legal Technology Vendors committed to "rolling up their sleeves" and working closely with in-house counsel and outside counsel to transform legal processes.
Our Mission flows directly from our three bedrock principles:
1. The Rule of Law is Essential to Personal Integrity and Business Success
In 1780, John Adams wrote that we must establish "a government of laws and not of men" — meaning that, to have any legitimacy, the rule of law must apply equally to all persons. This principle of public law applies with equal force to private businesses.
The rule of law is an indispensable force in upholding the highest standards of ethical conduct in the corporate environment — i.e. within companies as well as between companies and our employees, clients and competitors. These standards are vital for both our integrity as individual attorneys and because they are the only way for businesses to maintain their reputations and succeed over the long term.
2. General Counsel Must Aggressively Assert Our Leadership Role in Upholding the Rule of Law
General Counsel are unique in being embedded within the corporate management structure and are charged with bringing independent legal judgment to the myriad of issues faced by companies today.
As such, it is General Counsel and their in-house staff — and not law firms or other vendors — who have both the privilege and the duty to take the lead role in articulating and enforcing the rule of law within the corporate environment.
3. To Lead Effectively, General Counsel Must Seek Out, Collaborate With and Support Innovative Law Firms and Technology Vendors
While General Counsel and their staff can and must lead the legal profession, we cannot effectively fulfill this role without partnering with two vital supporting players: outside counsel and legal technology providers.
We cannot continue to wait for law firms to evolve on their own or for technology vendors to deliver "solutions in search of problems." Instead, as a community, we must push aggressively for beneficial innovation and change, by: (1) requiring our outside law firms to implement new tools and practices to make their services more affordable and better aligned with our companies' business objectives; and (2) working closely with technology vendors to build solutions to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of both our in-house legal departments and our outside law firms.
As a community, we must recognize that these "supporting players" cannot and will not drive beneficial change on their own — in-house leadership is the only path to genuine legal innovation.