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A few large law firms have been arranging secondments — short-term contracts under which companies “borrow” an outside lawyer for a few weeks to a year or more — for years, particularly as a service to overseas clients who are more familiar with the practice. But as corporate law departments continue to face budget pressures, more GCs, along with their outside counsel, are taking a closer look at arranging their own secondments.

How does this sound as a way to shore up some of your in-house staffing needs? Start by bringing on a new attorney and working with her for up to a year — with your only expense being the lawyer’s salary. It also might help to know that the lawyer comes straight to you from a well-regarded law firm that you’ve been working with on a regular basis. And at the end of the year, the lawyer will return to her firm, armed with firsthand experience of your company’s legal and business needs and, therefore, better able to improve the firm’s service to you.

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