Alan Paperny provides his employers with extensive support regarding in-house legal activity. A professional who focuses on team building and the establishment of legal departments within organizations in several diverse industries, Paperny has developed the ability to create effective, efficient legal teams that understand and protect a company's assets and its ability to continue to grow and meet its objectives while upholding its core values.
Team building is a task that many legal professionals overlook, but Paperny has made it a priority to ensure that his employers have access to the comprehensive support that they need to constantly function according to state, federal, and industry regulations. Additionally, a strong law team can assist in identifying and pursuing new business opportunities, protecting a company's assets, and leveraging the resources that an organization already possesses to meet challenging new objectives.
To excel in team building, Paperny pays close attention to a few key factors. Some of these include:
• Creating a departmental structure that supports the needs of the organization without incurring excessive cost.
• Defining and filling roles based upon organizational needs and candidate strengths. Essentially, this entails finding the right candidates for the positions that are open.
• Establishing a positive, productive work environment in which team members are encouraged to support one another while working toward shared goals.
Alan Paperny has developed the ability to understand and support the legal needs of an organization through targeted team building.
Alan Paperny has spearheaded the development of several in-house legal departments over the course of his career. As such, he is exceptionally insightful with regard to when a company should invest in an in-house law team, what this team should prioritize to create the most impact, and how the department should be structured.
He offers the following information regarding the development of a successful, effective in-house legal team.
Knowing When to Create a Legal Department
For many small companies, an in-house law department is simply not a necessity, as these organizations do not typically require large scale support. But as a business expands, it will often reach the point at which it is financially prudent to bring on one or more attorneys, and ultimately a full-time team, rather than continue to outsource the necessary tasks. Alan encourages owners and executives whose businesses have reached this point to bring on a general counsel who can champion the development of this team.
The point at which an in-house legal department is necessary is different for each company. Alan suggests that business owners speak with a representative that they trust to weigh the options and determine how to best meet the needs of their company.
Understanding the Benefits of Bringing Legal Support In-House
For companies that have grown large enough to create an in-house department, Alan Paperny and other professionals can provide a long list of benefits. Some of these include:
• The ability to work closely with business leaders and managers to ensure proper development and execution of key initiatives. Legal professionals spearhead projects covering numerous subject areas, from mergers and acquisitions to human resource initiatives to the protection of brands. As such, the ability to work closely with an in-house attorney, who understands the nuances and idiosyncrasies of the business, rather than to communicate sporadically with an outside firm, can improve the ability of senior management to understand and achieve critical objectives.
• The ability to identify and pursue new business opportunities. He has worked on many acquisitions, which have ultimately created a higher degree of market visibility and value for the companies for which he has worked. Legal teams are able to help analyze mergers, acquisitions, and other corporate strategies that may provide a high return on investment, thereby supporting the success and expansion of the organization.
• Reduced cost associated with legal support. While outsourcing tasks is often financially prudent for small businesses, it can become a major expense for larger organizations. When the time is right, creating an in-house legal department can cut a great deal of spending with regard to legal activity, particularly in industries that are highly regulated.
Prioritizing Departmental Activities
Any department must prioritize tasks in order to be as effective as possible. For new departments, though, it is critical to quickly identify the most pressing needs of the company and address these needs efficiently. Paperny leads his teams with this approach by clearly identifying how to streamline processes and cut costs while building a productive team.
The first thing that Alan Paperny does when he establishes an in-house department is to address any large, obvious issues, the proverbial “low-hanging fruit.” Among other tasks, this includes reducing spending on outsourced legal counsel. He also reaches out to all of the necessary executives, managers and employees to introduce himself and establish the need to communicate with him regarding any and all future work. This step toward a higher degree of organization is one that makes it possible for professionals to take on the oftentimes overwhelming degree of responsibility that accompanies the development of an organization's first legal team.
Paying Attention to the Details
Attention to detail is a critical characteristic of any successful attorney, but this is particularly crucial when handling the multitude and varied responsibilities that executives take on when they lead the establishment of an in-house legal department. Alan Paperny has developed a clear understanding of how these details contribute to the overall success of a company, and he is careful to ensure that these details are well understood before any task is executed.
Alan Paperny has accumulated a great deal of experience in many different parts of the legal industry. He started his career in a large law firm and has had the opportunity and good fortune to work in several diverse industries and companies over 20+ years. As such, he understands how critical it is for law students to pinpoint the right area of concentration in order to build careers that they find exciting and fulfilling. As he continues to build his career, Paperny looks forward to helping law students and new attorneys pick the practice areas that are best for them.
Below are a few of the ways in which students can explore the various legal fields that are open to them and to choose the practice area that best matches their interests and goals.
• Students should understand why they want to become a legal professional. Often, the factors that are driving them to this field can also direct them toward the right area of law. For instance, students who are interested in helping businesses grow may want to further explore corporate law. Those who are more passionate about helping individuals might consider family or public interest law.
• Talking with a law school advisor can help students to understand what different fields of law entail and which would best suit them.
• Internships are wonderful opportunities that can provide students with an understanding of what working in the legal field entails—and whether or not they are dedicated to and inspired by the practice area they have chosen.
Alan Paperny hopes to serve as a resource for individuals who are looking to make key decisions about their professional future by offering this and other guidance.