Amy Boatner Jeffrey, Managing PartnerFor over two decades, Outside GC has been at the forefront of delivering top-notch external general counsel and corporate legal services to companies’ in-house legal teams and those without inhouse lawyers on an on-demand basis. Comprising a hundred partners, the full-service law firm has senior and experienced attorneys having law firm and in-house experiences spanning decades across all 50 U.S. states and internationally. Outside GC stays a step ahead in the legal field as one of the earliest virtual law firms, enabling its lawyers to offer their legal counsel at an unmatched scale.
In an interview with Manage HR magazine, Amy Boatner Jeffrey, managing partner at Outside GC, sheds light on their wide-ranging legal expertise, especially in employment law, which helps organizations successfully navigate the legal landscape pertaining to remote employment in the post-COVID world and reduction in force (RIF) measures. The interview also has contributions from Margaret Scheele, an employment attorney with Outside GC.
The Sought-After External General Counsel for Companies
Outside GC is designed to help companies by augmenting their legal departments. Some of our clients don’t have in-house general counsel or an existing legal department. We become their de facto general counsel with our employment law partners, providing additional legal support.
Companies with existing legal departments usually can’t justify hiring another full-time employee for short-term needs, or there is a sporadic or episodic need for legal staff. During these times, they require an external counsel for performing short-term legal analysis, for instance, during a RIF process. That is when our team steps in.
We also augment their existing legal department on a project basis. Sometimes, companies need ad hoc advice for an employee investigation, a termination, or medical leave queries. Our attorneys provide the relevant legal advice to these legal departments.
There are other ways we augment existing legal departments. For example, for companies with large quarter-end spikes in customer contracts, we act as the extra bandwidth to help them close these contracts. This episodic work enables clients to keep their legal department staffed as leanly as possible.
We seamlessly integrate with a client’s legal teams, become deeply invested in their businesses, preferences, and RIF profiles, and build strong, longstanding relationships. This helps us support them for the long haul and augment their staff on demand, which sums up our phrase, “We’re ondemand.”
Distinguished by Simplicity and Experience
Founded as a virtual, national law firm, we uninterruptedly served our clients during COVID-19 as we already had a dispersed workforce virtually offering legal counsel.
We also have a unique, simple, and transparent business model where all our lawyers bill at the same rate regardless of location. We offer valuable legal counsel at reasonable hourly rates because we transfer all the cost savings of not having a brick-and-mortar firm onto our clients.
Apart from these, we have an incredibly approachable and knowledgeable group of attorneys. They deeply understand our clients and their business requirements and have genuine working relationships with them, setting us apart. Even if they seek local counsel for cases involving nuanced international employment issues, our attorneys provide them with comprehensive advice. This unique perspective on employment law is an important differentiator for us.
A Pragmatic Approach to Employment Law Counsel
From an employment law perspective, we empower organizations to meet their compliance obligations and avoid potentially expensive lawsuits by minimizing employee relations issues with a practical approach. We understand their unique business needs and challenges in employment law and accordingly provide pragmatic legal advice.
While we do not offer litigation services, our employment law team has extensive experience in litigating cases, managing outside counsel, practical litigation prevention expertise, and deep knowledge of pre-litigation matters, including responding to Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and EEO agency complaints. We offer practical advice, for example, for dispute resolution in the employment law space.
Helping Clients Navigate Uncharted Territories in Employment Law
When COVID hit, companies found themselves in unchartered territory regarding employment law. Our partners stepped in to help them navigate the new employment era to keep them operational to the best of their ability with a dispersed workforce.
We understand the unique business needs and challenges our clients have in employment law and provide practical legal advice accordingly
Our employment law team regularly deals with distressing and tricky issues involving companies. For instance, one of our clients had a key employee who developed a serious medical issue that did not come under the purview of federal employer obligations. They nonetheless wanted to help the employee. Our employment law team helped them understand the risks involved in the process and aided their decision-making on providing the right coverage to the employee without flouting any laws. In a nutshell, we aim to keep clients in the best defensible position possible.
Challenges in Today’s Employment and How Outside GC Tackles Them
Some universal pain points in the employment space are conducting RIF exercises and managing a new remote workforce. In the case of a dispersed workforce, RIF measures often tend to trigger Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act issues at federal and state levels that require legal analysis. In multi-state RIFs, the various state-level analyses make it even more complex. Our employment attorneys help clients rein in costs effectively in conducting RIF legal analysis.
Another complexity is the logistical hurdles that arrive with RIFs and remote workforce, which makes it challenging for employers to get back confidential client information or company hardware from remote employees. Our employment lawyers help clients through the logistical planning and related issues employers deal with, in addition to offering legal analysis.
Many companies today have extensive remote personnel, prompting a new set of unprecedented employment law issues. For instance, while going through a RIF, there tends to be confusion regarding the best way to break the news to employees. How to relay the termination order? Is a Zoom call enough? How to discontinue a remote employee’s access to company resources?
Our team of lawyers provides practical legal advice to help employers successfully navigate the RIF process in the remote work scenario.