Ed. note: This is the latest installment of Inside Straight, Above the Law’s column for in-house counsel, written by Mark Herrmann.

I was always offended by cronyism.

The new managing partner, or CEO, or whoever, comes on board, and he throws out the old guard and brings in his new guys — blatant cronyism. This always bothered me.

I was wrong. I’ve recently become a big believer in cronyism.

But perhaps that’s because I’ve recently changed my perspective.

I’ve now lived a fairly long legal life, and I’ve seen an awful lot of lawyers in action. Let’s say that, over the course of a few decades, I’ve worked sufficiently closely with 1,000 lawyers to be able to assess intelligently which of the thousand are good and which ones aren’t.

Of the thousand lawyers, 200 suck. They’re just abysmal, and you wouldn’t use them for anything….

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