Is this also your life?: people copy you in random emails expecting you to provide an answer (plus often "propose language") re: some convoluted discussion that you weren’t a part of. Oh, also, the problem is usually commercial and not law-related.

likefunny
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“From a general legal perspective I don’t have any objections, subject to approval from all appropriate internal stakeholders.”

likesmart

This is the way.

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At least once a day I have to explain to an engineering team why I alone cannot review everything on their order form and they will need to review it as well.

“Well you’re the lawyer so you need to just review it and sign.” “Yeah Martha, but I don’t know what you want this vendor to do to our programming…you’re the engineer asking for this vendor”

funnylike

Agree, P1, but sometimes you want to drive the point home.

I love getting requests that some customer needs x, y, and z filled out and none of it is remotely legal’s responsibility but “legal handled this in the past.” Well, maybe but not anymore.

likefunny

Another gem: "Pls review—can we comply?" "I dunno, CAN you? This is all detailed ops requirements…"

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I have had more success than I care to admit by just sitting on it for a day or so and letting the question somehow answer itself. Battin at least .500 so far...

likesmart

I think if you’re good at your job, it is normal for the business to try to pass off some of their work to you. It makes sense considering our skill sets as attorneys.

I find that part of practicing in-house fun, but if actual legal work is claiming all of your bandwidth, it requires setting some boundaries.

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Business: Can you please review this contract and let me know if there are any issues.
Me: *opens the file* This is an SOW with deliverables, there are no legal terms. Does it meet your expectations?
Business: 🤷
Me: 🤦🏽‍♀️

likefunny

My favorite is when they say “sure”, then I ask them if they actually read it because according to the deliverable the work was completed in 1999.

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If I'm not busy, I don't mind if it is commercial related. I just tell them at the outset that this is a commercial topic, and not a legal topic, then I proceed to tell them what I think.

If I'm busy, I just tell them that this is a commercial topic and offer no further help.

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The problem is almost always commercial and they just don’t have the critical/strategic skills to work through to the answer. So legal is called in to tell them what to do.

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It’s not feasible to have a attorney caliber worker at every level of job throughout the org. It would bankrupt you.

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Yes. People also ask me about things they hve made. Wtf

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My favorite two words: “business decision.”

funny

Love this. Yes many of my communications involve commercial issues but stakeholders think they need legal approvals.

Part of me loves that my team is trained well to involve legal in many things. It’s better to have this than the opposite

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Yep ... And always happy to be a resource to help them work through whatever issue.

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All the time. If I can’t make sense of it from the email chain, I directly ask for clarity. And if it’s commercial, I directly ask what they want me, the legal SME, to provide input on. I find that the business folks tend to ask broad questions when really they need specific answers.

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