Month: April 2021

Ten Things: Legal Departments and the Value of Huddle Meetings

I’ll start this post by saying it is both awesome and (somewhat) dispiriting to have to follow the last “Ten Things” blog post, i.e., Talia Jarvis’ guest post on what you need to know as a woman in-house lawyer.  I feel like the Rolling Stones agreeing to follow James Brown at the 1964 T.A.M.I. awards.  If you don’t know what happened, let’s just say Mr. Brown blew the Stones off the stage with his act. [1]  So, here I am trying to follow her fantastic post – and what have I got for you?  Umm, let’s talk about meetings! Yay! Yeah, I know. Definitely feels like a B-side. Damn.  I never imagined it would suck to be Mick Jagger.

One thing I have written a lot about is all of the meetings that in-house lawyers attend. Sometimes, I think I spent at least half of my in-house career in meetings.  Having sat in meetings, run meetings, avoided meetings, been bored to death in meetings, tried to crawl out the door at meetings, I feel I have a pretty good perspective on the issue.  In past editions of “Ten Things,” I have written about how to hold more effective staff meetings, hosting offsite meetings, 1:1 meetings, and even how to escape meeting hell (a favorite pastime of mine). Today I want to talk about rethinking the base-type of meetings in-house legal departments hold.  In particular, moving away from long-drawn-out staff meetings and department meetings to something significantly shorter.  There will always be a place for those longer meetings, but something I have become very partial to is the “huddle” (also called a “stand-up” or a “scrum”) meeting.  There is a lot of value you can derive from a huddle meeting, for yourself, for the department, and for the company.  What’s a huddle meeting you ask?  Well, you’re in luck.  This edition of “Ten Things” discusses what you need to know about huddles and how they can benefit you and your legal department:



Ten Things: What You Need to Know as a Woman In-House Lawyer

In seven years of writing this blog, I have turned down all offers of a guest post.  Nothing personal, I have always wanted “Ten Things” to just be my thoughts.  Today, I make an exception.  Why?  Because I think this is an incredibly important topic – one I have wanted to write about but knew I could never pull off.  At its core, blog writing has to ring true and be based on experience or expertise to provide value.  As a middle-aged, white guy, who grew up in Nebraska, I cannot write effectively about this topic.  But my guest writer can.  In fact, she writes the hell out of it.  Still, I can say that I have seen firsthand much of what she sets out and 100% endorse what she is talking about.  So, pay attention.  If you are a woman, take these points to heart.  If you are a man, do the same – maybe more so.  It truly matters.

I have been fortunate enough to work for and with many great female executives, especially lawyers.  I not only admire them for their brains, insights, and work ethic, but for their ability to find a way through the many obstacles that stand in their way, from outright misogyny to dealing with the disproportionate share of child care.   My oldest daughter will start graduate school in the fall and my youngest daughter is at the University of Texas Law School, and I want both to have every opportunity to succeed in the business world on their merits.  I hope they both turn out a lot like Talia whom I have known for a while now and already believe has more insight, ability, and talent than I had when I first became general counsel.  I know you will agree and I hope that you will share this post with everyone you know.

I am excited and pleased that this edition of “Ten Things” discusses what you need to know as a woman in-house lawyer.