Rady School of Management, UC San Diego

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Managing Outside Legal Counsel

About the Program

In businesses built around intellectual property, such as those in high tech and biotech, entrepreneurs must work with attorneys in at least two different areas of law – forming the business entity and developing an IP strategy.

This course teaches business leaders how to identify the best attorneys for their needs and how to negotiate with and manage outside counsel.


This course is appropriate for all business leaders who are seeking or dealing with outside legal counsel.



Course runs from 7:45 a.m.–12:00 p.m.. Registration fee includes course materials, campus parking and continental breakfast.

Josh Pingel
Program Manager


Participants will learn:

  • What to expect when interviewing and selecting outside legal counsel
  • How to select legal counsel that best suits their company or organization’s individual requirements
  • Legal billing practices and options including retainer agreements
  • Tips for negotiating lower rates

Related Courses


This interactive course will help participants to:

  • Identify suitable and quality legal counsel for their company or organization’s needs
  • Negotiate better deals with representation
  • Contain legal costs
  • Take control of their outside legal counsel


Dr. Susan Gorman is a partner at Birch, Stewart, Kolasch & Birch, a law firm with a practice that focuses exclusively on intellectual property law. She has represented numerous biotechnology, pharmaceutical and chemical companies ranging from small startups to Fortune 500 companies, as well as universities and research organizations.  

Dr. Gorman regularly contributes to courses designed to introduce patent law to non-legal professionals and to foreign attorneys. She has negotiated with her own clients and on her clients’ behalf with other attorneys. Through these experiences she has developed techniques for generating an effective cooperative work environment that allows efficient and effective resolution. She has a Ph.D. in molecular biology from Case Western Reserve University, a J.D. from Whittier Law School and a B.S in botany from the University of New Hampshire.