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Articles are presented in two sections:

Shoveling smoke  (below) - a regular column published by the Association of Corporate Counsel

Other articles - click the link for a selection of articles published elsewhere

‘Shoveling smoke’ (re-named "Ins & Outs") is a regular column in the award-winning Docket magazine (produced by the Association of Corporate Counsel), on relations between in-house and outside counsel, legal department management and professional issues. 

With over 26,000 members in more than 75 countries, the Washington-DC-based Association of Corporate Counsel is the world's largest representative association serving in-house corporate counsel.

A wide range of other articles are also available

Making fixed fee retainers work - financially and ethically
iPad 2 - passing fad or laptop replacement? - is the iPad 2 mostly a media consumption device, or does it let you create, manipulate and distrubute work product seamlessly enough to ditch the laptop?
The best clients and most client-focused law firms - you do a great job, and select the best firms; a cross-check
The Smarter Legal Model: More From Less - key business techniques demonstrating the value of the legal function
Liar, Liar - Seven "Bet the Company" Risk Management Cues - opportunities for lawyers on 'top-end' risk management
Lifting the in-house counsel brand: how do you rate? - recognized legal strategist? Take the test
Litigation cost management - revolution or evolution? - new solutions to align litigation costs and organizational goals
Ten quick ways to cut costs - need to cut the legal budget by 10 or 20%?
The end of in-house lawyers? - with law firm models changing Richard Susskind offers legal department strategies
It would be a shame to waste a good recession - bright future for relationship between in-house and outside counsel with aligned interests and value at its core
Selecting law firms; a two way street - Law firms' frank assessment of in-house counsel 'best practices' selecting firms
Lawyers as Gatekeepers - outside counsel more independent or better at intercepting wrongdoing than in-house counsel?
Are we Googling ourselves stupid? - are new skills destroying our ability to think?
Ready, fire, aim - When the issue is not developing great strategy but implementation
Seven time tips for busy lawyers - timesaving tips
Of mugshots and elevator pitches - lawyer selection without the complexities
10 little secrets of working in-house
Litigation media management - if you can't 'manage' the media, 8 tips to help manage the message
Customer service: putting it right - dealing with poor customer service reflects excellence
Standard terms to rule over them - supplier standard terms                                
10 tips to determine if your RFP is a toxic tool - design tips for tenders/RFPs for legal services
RFPs & tenders - should we really? - what's the alternative?
Seeing through your clients' eyes - six steps beyond client surveys
Coaching and the 'Skill-Will Matrix' - adapt managing style to their needs
Organizational culture - the importance of culture on strategic effectiveness
Metrics that matter - 'satisfied' clients; loyal promoters or passive users?
Legal leaders use Matrix to expand time - leverage expertise to free time
Email disclaimers - the modern emperor's clothes?
How many lawyers are too many? - finding the 'right' size legal department
Legal stars (part 2) - management tools for the people in legal departments
Legal stars (part 1) - management tools for the people in legal departments
When less lawyering is more - not just application of legal skills
The flip side of client relations - involve external counsel in different ways
Make or buy? - 10 hidden tigers - optimal insource/ outsource mix
I'm a lawyer, not a marketer, right? - demonstrate strategic value
Matter management 101 - enabling legal departments do more with less.

Retreating forward - 10 steps for a successful 'offsite' - a template

Also see: New era of team building needed - study isolates key factors for offsite success

Contextual ethics and brand value - a hypothetical on 'borrowing' ideas
10 steps towards helping the CFO - the finance side for in-house counsel
Inside, Outside - outsourced legal departments

How do you motivate lawyers? - does cash - lots of it - drive lawyers?

Also see: "Legal culture and motivated teams" (below)

And: What's driving motivation - Global research isolates non-financial factors, and record numbers considering leaving

Compliance programs that connect - part of organisational culture

Connecting with outside counsel - bridging the gap

10 golden rules of negotiation - 'rules' of corporate negotiation?

Litigation hourly billing - the gap between value add & legal fees
Offshoring - the dawn of international legal skills arbitrage?
Better governance - ditch the legal budget? - a provocative viewpoint
Rules of engagement and when to break them - free to be creative

Legal culture and motivated teams - motivating lawyers

Also see: "How do you motivate lawyers?" (above)

And: What's driving motivation - Global research isolates non-financial factors, and record numbers considering leaving

Professional standards - beyond conduct rules - GC & a partner talk
No place for ‘transferred arrogance’ with outside counsel
Compliance and the effect of organisational culture


  • Connecting organizations and professional services providers
  • Legal Dept management; legal function productivity and value
  • Corporate governance; Legal compliance
  • Motivation; Team events

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