On Friday, I had the pleasure of speaking with another of the panelists for Wednesday’s General Counsel Panel here at the Legal Marketing Association’s Annual Conference. Joseph Otterstetter is the Managing Counsel and Associate General Counsel with 3M. The position was a new one created two and a half years ago, with Otterstetter acting as a type of “Chief of Staff” for the legal department. He overseas a range of areas, including budget, human resources, and operations, and works with the General Counsel and leadership to run the department.
I started off by observing that in Otterstetter’s LinkedIn biography, he indicates that he was appointed to lead the efforts to improve efficiency and effectiveness of 3M legal affairs. I asked him to comment on how he’s been focused on accomplishing that.
Primarily, he answered, it’s been focused around three things.
- Working with his colleagues on the convergence process, which has led them to reduced their outside counsel by 75%.
- Related to that, there’s been a big push for using non-time-based bees for outside lawyers, and that’s now the majority of the work that they do.
- They’re also doing strategic insourcing – moving more of the work that they’ve typically done outside in the past in-house.