4 Ways To Make Your Outsourced GC Part of Your Team
When a company decides to bring legal in-house, the primary reason is usually economics. At a certain point, it makes more financial sense to stop paying law firms for every legal transaction and hire a dedicated resource. Hopefully, that dedicated resource, whether full time or outsourced, will not only save your company money, but find ways to be a part of your growth.
The second reason companies bring legal in house has to do with culture. When legal becomes a prominent function in your company, it helps to have an attorney who’s actually part of the team. When your GC understands your people and culture as well as your business, the benefits are invaluable.
If you’ve recently hired an outsourced GC, or you’re thinking about it and wondering how it’ll work out culturally, here are 4 ways to make them a real part of your team.
Get them in the trenches
One of the reasons CEOs love Nimbus is that the Nimbus outsourced CG makes an effort to become part of the company, whether that means working out of the clients’ offices (anywhere from 1-2 per month or 2-3 times per week), having a company email address, and/or participating in company events, sales meetings, and the like.
An important connection is made when your outsourced GC is present and entrenched in what’s actually happening at the company day-to-day. This is part of what makes a real difference in how Nimbus GCs engage with clients. From getting to know the team personally to being on hand for an impromptu strategy session, having your outsourced GC present now and then can reap multiple benefits.
It’s also a good way to get the rest of the team, and maybe your board and partners, to view your GC as part of the company. Ultimately, you want your team to know they have this resource available, which can provide a lot of peace of mind. Concurrently, you want your outsourced GC to know they’re part of your family.
Integrate them with every department
To turn your outsourced GC from a cost center into a revenue generator, the answer is simple, integrate them. There are things that can be done with contracts and processes that could not only streamline operations but improve the bottom line. Remember that your outsourced GC isn’t just a good lawyer, they’re also a valuable partner who’s working with a handful of other companies like yours. Think of them as an epicenter of tribal knowledge. Something that’s helped improve one of their other clients’ operations may be helpful to yours. They may have some tricks for automating HR process that cut onboarding costs and time. They might know how to make issuing sales contracts so fast and painless that your sales cycle is meaningfully reduced.
They can’t know where all of your aches and pains exist unless they get to know your business inside and out. Encourage department leaders to spend 1:1 time with your outsourced GC. At the very least, they’ll learn how other companies like theirs are solving similar challenges. At most, they’ll find ways to streamline and improve their own operations.
Your outsourced GC is going to be out in the community (hopefully) just like your other executives. Why not arm them in the same way? Give them branded T-Shirts to wear, business cards, and make sure they’re up on your most recent positioning. They are just as capable of being a company evangelist as everyone else on your team.
Your outsourced GC should also have a company email address, which presents them as a true team member in outward-facing communications, customer negotiations, and vendor negotiations, which can have a real impact on the result of those conversations.
Our CGs’ make it a point to understand the company’s revenue models, product, service or technology, and company structure, which adds value to her ability to represent her client’s day-to-day legal needs. This means they can make an impact inside their clients’ organizations, and outside as a brand advocate.
Getting the outsourced GC in the trenches and integrating them in this way is critical to accomplishing that value-add and impact.
Hold them to the same standards as employees
Legally, you don’t need, or even perhaps even want to hold your outsourced GC to the same handbook as your W2 employees. However, expecting them to adhere to the same culture standards as the rest of your team will ensure a great fit in the long run. It shows your outsourced GC that you consider them part of your team, and have the same expectations from them as every other employee. It also shows your employees that you value the culture that’s been so carefully cultivated in your organization. When your team sees you caring so much about culture, they’ll care that much about it too.
Your outsourced General Counsel should be a part of your team, and that, ultimately, is what the Nimbus Outsourced GC model provides. An in-house attorney on a subscription fee model based on your unique needs.