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The Under-Examination of In-House Counsel

Transactions: The Tennessee Journal of Business Law, Vol. 11, 2009

Wake Forest Univ. Legal Studies Paper No. 1577879

7 Pages Posted: 28 Mar 2010 Last revised: 6 Apr 2010

Omari Scott Simmons

Wake Forest University School of Law

Date Written: March 24, 2010

Abstract

Although the emergence of in-house counsel is one of the most significant shifts in the legal profession over the past half century, there is a relative dearth of scholarship dedicated to this important transformation. This Essay highlights the reasons for the under-examination of in-house counsel in the legal literature, namely: (i) the difficulty addressing corporate complexity; (ii) a preoccupation with director-shareholder dualism; and (iii) the overemphasis on symbolic procedures reflecting democratic values like independence. This Essay, however, contends that further examination of the in-house counsel role may: (i) illustrate how a well-positioned in-house legal presence, complemented by external gatekeepers, is an essential feature of healthy corporate governance for large publicly-traded firms; and (ii) yield more pragmatic resolutions to corporate governance issues.

Keywords: Corporate governance, corporations, securities law, regulation, legal profession, general counsel, in-house counsel, business, regulation, corporate, indepedence

Suggested Citation

Simmons, Omari Scott, The Under-Examination of In-House Counsel (March 24, 2010). Transactions: The Tennessee Journal of Business Law, Vol. 11, 2009 ; Wake Forest Univ. Legal Studies Paper No. 1577879. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1577879

Omari Scott Simmons (Contact Author)

Wake Forest University School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 7206
Winston-Salem, NC 27109
United States
(336) 758-4493 (Phone)

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