- · Get your basics down – hopefully committed to memory:
- Find an ally. Ask how a Records/Legal collaboration can best advance your organization’s goals. Who, within the Legal team, can collaborate to move the organization forward? Check Legal’s organizational schema, including in-house counsel and outside counsel. [Note that while employees of your organization are called in-house counsel, attorneys from independent law firms are never called out-house counsel.] Who can best contribute to success? Make that person your “new best friend”.
- · Learn the parameters, frontiers, and basic vocabulary of your ally’s specialty. A simple Web search will reveal many resources. Each focus has its own publications. Read a sampling. When you see a reference to a salient legal case, find it on the Web and read the abstract.
- · Meet informally. I prefer a lunch where you can learn a bit about each other (family, interests, political leanings, and more), and also dispel preconceptions.
- · Remember your differences and work to bridge the gulfs. Seek points of congruence that emphasize shared concerns. Ask questions that solicit legal opinions and, when possible, refer to seminal legal cases (see above) that relate to his/her opinions.
- · Follow up:
Get to know a “new best friend” today.