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Local Counsel, A Service for Law Firms


Working in the field of law can quickly demonstrate how local rules and regulations vary across the country. Attorneys sometimes make a living out of traveling all over the country, taking cases in areas along both coasts. These national attorneys can certainly be excellent at their jobs, but it is next to impossible for them to memorize all of the tiny rules that pertain to a local court system. This is where law firms can start to offer a fundamental service: local counsel.

A law firm that advertises itself as an expert option for local counsel becomes set apart from its competitors. If you spend a lot of time practicing in your local court system, you may already be well qualified to offer this service. It could be a great source of income for you, but you have to keep a few responsibilities in mind before you start handing out business cards to advertise. Here are a few things that law firms should remember about becoming local counsel on a case before they get started.

Local counsel services allow out-of-state attorneys to work nearby

The primary function of local counsel services is to allow out-of-state attorneys to work in a given area. This essentially means that they have no idea how to run this case in your unique area. You may find that they have no knowledge at all of the proceedings for your county or state. A law firm should be prepared to proofread or prepare all paperwork prior to submitting it to the court for approval. They will need to make sure that the right paperwork was turned in at just the right time. Otherwise, you may wind up with a big mess on your hands when the court date finally arrives.

You will need to help them handle relationships

Knowing the judges and other attorneys in the area is a major advantage during a trial. Other law firms typically hire local counsel to help them navigate the relationships in the local courts. This can mean the difference between winning a case and losing one in some situations. If you know what to expect from the other professionals who may be present in the courtroom, you will likely stand a better chance of winning the trial. This is why local counsel services can be so essential to out-of-state attorneys and law firms.

Ethics still apply, even to local counsel services

Even if you are not the lead counsel on a particular case, ethical matters do still apply to you. You must still keep an eye out for ethics when building the case to go to trial, even if you never deal directly with the client. The tangled web of ethical behavior can be trickier for local counsel who often receives material and information secondhand from the lead law firm.

Every law firm should consider advertising their experience with local counsel services for out-of-state law firms. If you need local counsel in a given area but can not find anyone, allow Attorneys on Demand to help you find experienced attorneys for local counsel!