chevron-down Created with Sketch Beta.
June 01, 2018 Book Review

The Corporate Counsel Survival Guide by William E. Kruse

Reviewed by Kati Sanford Goodner

In this quick-witted user’s manual for in-house attorneys and attorneys seeking to make the transition from private practice to in-house counsel, William Kruse, former TIPS Section chair and vice president, law and counsel, for Gallup, Inc., both entertains and educates. After discovering that his own transition to an in-house counsel position was not nearly as informed a decision as it could have been, Mr. Kruse decided to write a book to help other attorneys. The resulting guide highlights some of the biggest challenges associated with the transition and addresses important distinctions between private practice and serving as corporate counsel. The book pulls from Mr. Kruse’s own personal examples and war stories gleaned from fellow in-house counsel to prepare and advise those seeking to follow his path to corporate counsel.

The Corporate Counsel Survival Guide is exactly what it purports to be: a guide to surviving the transition from private practice to in-house counsel. The book is broken down into short chapters within specific topics starting with “Time to Get Your Bearings: The First Hundred Days,” which advises that the best response may often be no response as you wait to make sure that you have the full picture and get a feel for the corporate culture of the company you work for. Mr. Krause keeps his recommendations practical and, quite often, humorously illustrated.

After addressing how the in-house attorney can survive the first one hundred days, The Corporate Counsel Survival Guide goes on to cover topics such as managing internal clients and personalities. Kruse addresses issues stemming from relationships with third parties outside the company, such as government agencies and outside counsel, and opportunities to buy company stock. He wraps up the book with an insightful take on how to handle the opportunity to move out of the legal world, which inevitably is presented at some point during an in-house career.

As its conclusion, The Corporate Counsel Survival Guide contains a “Final Thoughts” checklist that provides concrete recommendations for specific software brands and apps to use, as well as how to stay on top of your expense accounts and how to make sure you know your company’s clients.

For attorneys who have just made the transition to in-house counsel or for those who think the change just might be the right move, this humorous and helpful text is an easy read and provides valuable guidance for attorneys interested in or getting ready to pursue an in-house position.

To order The Corporate Counsel Survival Guide, go to or call 1-800-285-2221.

Regular price: $59.95; TIPS Member price: $49.95

The material in all ABA publications is copyrighted and may be reprinted by permission only. Request reprint permission here.

Kati Sanford Goodner

Litigator in the Business & Commercial and Tax Practice Groups

Kati Sanford Goodner is a litigator in the Business & Commercial and Tax Practice Groups of the Knoxville, Tennessee, office of Lewis, Thomason, King, Krieg & Waldrop, P.C., where she focuses on business litigation and tax controversy. She is the executive editor of the TortSource editorial board and serves as the YLD Liaison to TIPS Publications. She may be reached at [email protected].