I regularly tell legal interim managers that I have submitted for a mission to demonstrate, in the interview, their ability to deliver practical advice that is directly relevant to their client. It matters little whether the client is a case manager or CEO of the company, this objective remains the same.
This is especially true for those who start a first assignment in business after spending several years in legal training. Indeed, the expected service is very different:
• The company’s legal expert usually hires a lawyer based on his or her specialised expertise in a specific field, and expects him/her to deliver a detailed opinion, enriched with interesting references and allowing the company’s legal expert to prepare the case that will soon have to be defended before the Executive Committee;
• The client of the company’s legal expert, however, expects a quick and practical solution to a concrete problem. This client has little concern for the reasoning that led to this solution and doesn’t want to be bothered with doctrinal and case-law references that may be considered - rightly or wrongly – superfluous. Instead, the client wants a concise view, that’s easy to understand, and which can be used immediately to move forward: a short email with a clear conclusion, corrections made directly into a document, a check-list that can be reused, a table, a fact sheet containing easy guidelines to interpret, etc.
Finally, in rereading your opinions before sending them to your contact person, I suggest you ask yourself the following question: "If I put myself in the place of my client, is this answer helpful to me directly?"