I'm the 1st in-house counsel at a tech company (200+). Starting to worry about the way they want me to practice law, but don't know if I'm overreacting. I have a very high-risk tolerance, as I've done mostly PR crises, data breaches, etc.

However, the volume of work and the way they are responding are starting to concern me ethics wise. Yesterday I was given a 200 page contract to review for GDPR. I asked for 3 day turnaround, normally I get at least 24 hours. I have no legal support.

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This doesn't sound like an ethics issue; the client (your company) is free to ignore or not request legal advice. This is an SLA issue. Establish a written SLA for the routine types of work that come your way and direct anyone to it who requests turnaround faster. If they insist on moving forward without your assistance, that's not on you.

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Thank you so much - very helpful!

I’d recommend training the business to help them understand the role of legal and what your review entails. You aren’t just flipping through the document and blessing it. Also help the business understand which parts of the contract they’re responsible to review so that THEY are responsible for that. Just bc it’s a contract doesn’t mean 100% of the document falls on your shoulders.

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Tried to do that. I think there's just a disconnect. The CEO did NOT want to hire an attorney. So long as I'm not putting myself at risk, I have no issues with the poor decisions they make!

Document document document. Get good at CYA emails - "We discussed X, Y and Z with X the most conservative option. Per our conversation you have selected Z, which comes with the following risks blah blah blah." Or even "In the limited time I had to review this 200 page contract, I noticed the following issues..." Your risk tolerance is not at issue here - it's the tolerance of the decision makers. When there is resistance to even hiring an attorney, being the first one in the door can be TOUGH.

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Thank you so much for this. I just need to remind myself of the role. The only reason i was hired as an attorney is because i have worked at the company in another role and know the business.

This sounds pretty standard tbh. I agree with D1. Propose your plan to biz leadership. Also try to get an adequate outside counsel budget!
And ask yourself if this is the right role for someone who is risk averse.

Oh sorry I totally misread

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