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Event Profile

Serving the Organizational Client Ethically While Delivering (and Demonstrating) Greater Value to That Client *Class by Webinar* (NEW)

September 11, 2019

Credits: 1.5 Ethics Credit Hours
Note: The Law Practice Management Community will sponsor a lunch, which will be served from 12:00 p.m. - 12:20 p.m.

Description: For several decades, corporate law departments have become increasingly assertive in their demands for legal service provided to their companies by outside lawyers.  Corporate counsel have been requiring:  electronic billing; use of task codes for billing; law firms to work collaboratively with other firms or to work with “alternative legal service providers;” diversity among their outside lawyers; and, the elusive and not clearly defined “alternative fee arrangement.”

These demands continue and are driven by the in-house lawyers' internal pressure to meet budgets and to demonstrate to their internal clients the “value” that they and the external lawyers together provide to the business.  What might the "end game" look like for the relationship between in-house and outside lawyers?  How does the corporate lawyer, whether in-house or external, define the value he or she provides an organization and how can the fee reflect that value within applicable ethical constraints?

As the legal profession becomes increasingly competitive, the answers to these questions represent the key to constructive, long-term, value-added relationships between external counsel and in-house attorneys and, ultimately, the organizational client.  This includes developing a fee structure that fairly compensates the external counsel for the competencies they provide but – also – assures the organizational client that the fees reflect the value of the legal services it receives in respect of the business goals for which the legal service constitutes a support.  This paradigm seems as distant as ever, particularly considering the ethical constraints that lawyers face when setting fees and when working with the organizational client.

This class will define how both the in-house and external lawyer can conceptualize the value each brings to the organizational client within the confines of the rules of professional conduct; how they can work together, particularly given the tension between the external counsel’s professional obligations to the client and the in-house attorney’s mandate to limit or control legal costs; and ethical considerations when developing alternative fee structures.


  • Margaret M. Cassidy, Esq., Cassidy Law PLLC
  • Steve Lauer, Esq., Lauer & Associates
  • Saul J. Singer, D.C. Bar Legal Ethics Counsel

Fee: $49 D.C. Bar Law Practice Management Community Members; $59 Other D.C. Bar Community Members; $69 D.C. Bar Members; $79 Government and Non-Profit Attorneys; $99 Others

The D.C. Bar CLE Program now offers discounted group registration rates!  For more information, contact the CLE Office at CLE@dcbar.org or 202-626-3488.


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Saul Singer, Senior Legal Ethics Counsel, D.C. Bar

Steven Lauer, Lauer & Associates

Margaret Cassidy, Cassidy Law PLLC