The role of general counsel is evolving fast, thanks in large part to the changing economy and increasing regulation, in-house lawyers agree. Top lawyers aren’t just legal advisers anymore: They’re now business partners, strategists and even risk managers, to some degree.

And what all these changes actually mean for general counsel was the subject of two separate conferences on Wednesday. Foley & Lardner hosted a webcast titled “The Evolving Role of the Chief Legal Officer.” In-house panelists talked about how they’re managing legal costs more carefully, working more closely with their board of directors, and taking on non-traditional legal duties, such as compliance and privacy.

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