Educating Employees About Compliance With Technology-Related Legal RiskManagement Procedures

Educating Employees About Compliance With
Technology-Related Legal Risk Management Procedures

Eric Goldman
Marquette University Law School


  • Stereotype #1: lawyer as naysayer or bottleneck
  • Stereotype #2: client as rogue actor
    • “It’s better to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission”
  • How can we avoid the negative consequences of these stereotypes?
    • Client education and outreach
    • Gatekeeping
    • Cost accounting

Outreach—Training Sessions

  • Pros
    • Allows clients to proactively issue-spot
    • Highlights your expertise
      • Although you may need outside counsel to make presentation for maximum credibility
  • Cons
    • Hard to communicate nuances
    • Attendance can be spotty
    • Usually needs to be repeated frequently


  • Pros
    • 24×7 availability
    • Clients can self-educate
  • Cons
    • Hard to get clients to use Intranet
    • Requires on-going maintenance
    • Clients often misdiagnose their problems


  • Pros
    • Makes it easy for clients to get your input
    • Demystifies lawyers/builds relationships
    • You can eavesdrop
  • Cons
    • No privacy
    • You can be too easy to reach
    • May reduce visibility to senior management

Outreach—Pipeline Review

  • Pros
    • Get heads-up of potential problems
    • Problems can be easier to fix if identified early
    • Avoid deadline crunches
  • Cons
    • Creates lots of extra work
      • Many projects never come to fruition
    • Can be hard to critique ill-formed ideas
    • Clients may feel micro-managed

Gatekeeping—Legal Signoff

  • Pros
    • Veto power
    • Strong sign of management support
  • Cons
    • Creates bottleneck
      • Clients always wait until the last minute
    • Painful to scuttle a project after it is “done”
      • An easy solution at the project’s beginning may be painful at the end
    • Some clients will try to game the system


  • Pros
    • Removes power from rogue clients
    • Increases opportunity for QA
    • Reduces the number of people you need to train and interact with
  • Cons
    • You have to trust the webmaster’s skill/instincts
    • Webmaster usually operates under tight deadlines

Cost Accounting—Chargeback Billing

  • Pros
    • Clients internalize costs into their decision-making
    • Creates a penalty for bad legal behavior
    • Communicates value of legal support
  • Cons
    • You must keep track of your time
    • May discourage clients from asking for help
    • Clients may try to game price differentials between you and outside counsel

A Solution?

  • Win the friendship and respect of your co-workers, and they will voluntarily ask you for guidance
  • How do you win respect?
    • Be easy to reach
    • Turn around requests quickly
    • Don’t be judgmental
    • Be creative in your solutions