Once upon a time, in the hallowed yesterdays of the legal industry, being “of counsel” to a firm had a very different meaning than it does now. It meant, generally, that the attorney in question was older or more experienced and didn’t want to deal with the responsibilities and issues that went along with full firm affiliation. There may have been conflicts between the attorney’s clients and another attorneys of the firm, the attorney may have hoped to take his or her practice in another direction, or perhaps the attorney simply wanted to maintain some sort of job while enjoying an early retirement. Since the economic storm of 2008—and the rebound effect it had within the legal industry—the “of counsel” position has changed a great deal.
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