Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Robert Rosen on Lawyers' Roles--In-House and Outside Counsel--in Advising Corporations

Posted by Alan Childress

As promised in a comment, here is more information on a new addition to the publishing project, and quite germane to the blog topic (!): Rob Rosen's (law, Miami) book, Lawyers in Corporate Decision-Making. Today out in hardcover and last month in paperback (allows 'Look Inside'), Kindle, Nook, Sony, and on the iPad via iTunes and K/N apps. This was originally his dissertation in sociology at Berkeley, and had been cited a lot and passed around in manuscript before. It is updated with his new Preface and new Foreword by Sung Hui Kim (law, UCLA) noted below, and a revised chapter two and other additions. Mainly it is the classic study people know and quote. He triangulated interviews with corporate counsel, outside law firms, and the corporate client, on many different legal representations, and got the whole picture of the disparate roles played in corporate advising. Lawyers often perceived it differently from clients. One chapter autopsies four representational failures. Interesting. Rosen also relates all this to theory and practice about "who is the client" and what should be the role of lawyer here: passive, proactive, advising beyond the legal consequences? It is cited a lot, too, for its taxonomy of corporate advising roles. So it is now generally out and not just in Xerox. Rob worked hard to get its substance and presentation just right, and even in library-quality hardback; we hope you'll like it.

"Rosen’s study of in house counsel is a deft, subtle dissection of a complex world where nothing is UniversityTowerRosenFORnookandkindle as it quite seems. In interviewing in house counsel, outside counsel, and clients, Rosen captures, in a Rashomon-like way, the moral character of lawyers’ work–their choices, their pitches, their claims by which they justify what they do. We see inside the professional black box.”
– John Flood, Professor of Law and Sociology, University of Westminster, London

“Widely regarded by experts in the field as a pioneering work in the sociology of the legal profession and a foundational piece in the slowly emerging canon of empirical research on inside counsel…. Not limited to rich, thick description, the study also normatively challenges the legal profession’s ideology of moral ‘independence.’ …With the long-awaited publication of this manuscript, corporate lawyers will have something to guide them.”
– Prof. Sung Hui Kim, UCLA School of Law, from the new Foreword

Also was blogged about at Froomkin's (terming it a cult classic), Business Law Prof Blog, the Advanced Legal Studies@Westminster Blog and Random Academic Thoughts (Flood calling it wonderful), and others (and finally, me!). Libraries can order it through Baker & Taylor, Ingram, Amazon, etc. UPDATE: I forgot to mention that (and thank) Jeff and Nancy and others gave some great blurbs for this you can see below the fold....

...below the fold. Also, here is my publisher webpage for the book.

from page i:

“In Lawyers in Corporate Decision-Making, Robert Rosen takes us inside large law firms to explore how corporate lawyers advise their clients and how that advice can go wrong. The case studies he describes—including four situations in which the legal advice failed—show how important it is for lawyers to frame the clients’ needs appropriately. Rosen’s ability to weave together the importance of organizational hierarchy, coordination of responsibility, thoroughness of com­munication, and business acumen makes this book a ‘must-read’ for lawyers and law students alike.”

Nancy B. Rapoport

Gordon Silver Professor of Law,

William S. Boyd School of Law, UNLV, and

Coauthor of Enron and Other Corporate Fiascos


“Rob Rosen’s book captures the personal and organizational complexity of the effective in-house counsel’s experience. As a former GC of two large industrial businesses, I know how right he is when he disdains the simple either/or charac­terizations of inside lawyers as counselors, cops, and entrepreneurs. Inside law­yers (with few exceptions) are the only ones in a position to operate in the Venn diagram overlap between pure business and pure legal decisions; the best ones operate with equal credibility on business and law.  ‘No’ is rare, but when an inside lawyer who knows the business speaks, people listen.”

Jeffrey Lipshaw

Associate Professor, Suffolk University Law School

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What's up with your colleagues at the Legal Ethics Forum. I don't recall them posting about this. Shame on them!

Posted by: Patrick S. O'Donnell | Feb 16, 2011 4:50:20 PM

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