About defined terms

In addition to Five Links, I also write a newsletter for in-house legal counsel called defined terms.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions I've received about defined terms.

Do I need to be a lawyer to subscribe?

No! In fact, so long as you pay the monthly subscription fee - you don't even need to open the emails.

The content is developed by lawyers for lawyers. And not the lawyers you see on television, either. Real ones. Cranky ones that don't have time to buy expensive clothes or eat at fancy restaurants because they're too busy reviewing documents.

Other professionals might get value from defined terms - in particular where their job requires interfacing with in-house counsel. Give it a go - so long as your cheque clears and the money hits the trust account we're all best of friends.

Do I need to be an in-house legal counsel to subscribe?

No! In fact, so long as you pay the monthly subscription fee - you don't even need to open the emails.

But we're aiming this at in-house legal counsel. I worked as an in-house legal counsel for 5 years and this is the community and collection of online resources I wish I had during that time.

Private practice (i.e. those lawyers working in a firm for multiple clients) lawyers might get value from defined terms - in particular where they take instructions from in-house legal counsel. We may need to segregate the community some to make sure in-house lawyers have a space where they won't be sold to, but we can cross that bridge if we ever come to it.

Do I need to be Australian to subscribe?

You may be picking up a theme here.. but No!  In fact, so long as you pay the monthly subscription fee - you don't even need to open the emails.

I'm Australian.  And my network is predominantly Australian.  And so the content is written from an Australian perspective; albeit we are all operating in a predominantly global marketplace these days.

Lawyers from other jurisdictions might get value from defined terms – in fact, those that work as in-house legal counsel absolutely will get value from it regardless of their geography.

Why would I pay a fee to receive more email?

Yeah.  So, this is a fair question.

My other newsletter, Five Links, is free and is for everyone.

But defined terms is a bit different. It's for a particular niche. It's not for everyone. And it can't be for everyone. The value of what we create goes up the more we stay within our lane. Despite what I've written (somewhat tongue-in-cheek) above, this is a newsletter for in-house legal counsel. And so we want there to be a bit of a barrier to entry.

But it's really not a money making scheme. I think most people can appreciate that. So I've set the price at $5.00 a month or $50.00 for the year - Australian dollars. That's roughly the cost of one coffee per month. And I hope to put out at least two interesting pieces per month - hopefully more - 10 months a year. I feel that's a fair price and will help protect the signal-to-noise element that might be lacking in other online resources. If it's a huge flop - I will reassess.

Is working in-house really so different that it needs a newsletter?

I think it is!  

When I was working in-house there was a huge learning curve. For one, my clients didn't try to hide the disdain for which they treated my profession. At least when working privately there was some assumed value in the lawyer's role - even if just to make later paying the invoice sting less.

The skills I felt I needed were less legal and more practical. People skills. Influence skills. Productivity systems. Emotional resilience. Yes, legal knowledge was essential - but it was assumed. The corporate counsel that did well were those that could differentiate themselves through soft power and guile. Which is a shadow art taught through experience, not textbooks.

Why should I read your emails when you don't even work in-house?!

Another good question.

Look - I wish I did this back when I was working in-house. I felt then I didn't have the agency. Now that I'm within a law firm I have the flexibility and the freedom to try things like this. And careers are different these days, anyways. Yes, I'm working within a firm now. In a few years time I may not be.

You will have to come to your own conclusions as to whether I am somebody you want to pay to listen to.

Much of the content defined terms will put into the world might be written up by me, but it will likely come from somewhere else. Either interviews with other legal counsel or research pieced together from other places.

I'm struggling with the money thing – do people really pay for this stuff?

Ok Ok.

If the monthly subscription is the one thing that is preventing you from subscribing, I want you to reach out to me and we will work something out. I've seen other Substack newsletters offer free discount codes to subscribers, so I'm sure there's a way for me to do that also.  

I have stuff I'd like to add to the conversation. Can I contribute to defined terms?

Yes!  Absolutely!  

I don't want this to be a me thing. I want this to be a collection of resources for the in-house legal counsel community. If you have something to add, I want you involved.

Here are some things you could do:

  • (Interviews) – Are you working as a legal counsel now or have you worked as one in the past?  Would you be open to an interview to discuss your experience?
  • (Writing) – Writing can be fun, even when you're not being paid by the six-minute interval for it. It helps improve your thinking. It gives you a platform to be known for something. Do you have an article you would like to write?
  • (Questions) – Perhaps you're working as in-house legal counsel now or you hope to one-day go down that path? Share your questions and we can chase thoughtful responses.
  • (Testimonials) – Are you enjoying defined terms?  Perhaps you could reply to an email with a quote we can put on the website to attract new subscribers. That kind of social proof really helps.
  • (Resources) – Whoever you are.. do you have particular resources, articles, tools, tips, or systems you'd either like to share or like us to develop? Or have ideas for articles we could prepare?

Why when you write defined terms do you not capitalise it?

That's deliberate.

Sure - usually definitions are capitalised.

And so you'd think a newsletter called defined terms would be capitalised too, right?

But I didn't do that. Because – let me let you in on a little secret – I'm not like other corporate lawyers. I'm a cool, edgy corporate lawyer. And keeping it lower case will catch other lawyers' attention and get them to subscribe.

Marketing genius.

I have a question you didn't answer!

Contact me and let me know your question. If it's a good one I'll add it to this list.

Bennett Green

Bennett Green

Perth, Australia