Legal representation of government entities requires in-depth knowledge of the unique issues these clients face. Attorneys must be skilled in navigating the rules and regulations that apply to these groups, from smaller local or regional offices and authorities to larger state and federal agencies and departments.
Law firm funding provides working capital that allows firms and attorneys who serve government entities to gain necessary experience and knowledge, retain the best experts and consultants in the field, hire staff to thoroughly research issues and develop cases, and invest in the growth of the firm.
Government Entities Face Unique Legal Challenges
Government entities encounter many of the same legal issues that companies in the private sector face. However, the public sector also faces additional regulation that can complicate the handling of legal matters.
When a government body is involved in litigation or other legal processes, taxpayer funds are at stake, and the entity and the attorney who represents it have a responsibility to protect those resources. Budgeting constraints might also make it necessary for government entities to hire attorneys who can offer flexible payment arrangements that conform to government processes.
Government entities need experienced, knowledgeable, and skilled lawyers who understand how governments work and related constraints they face in legal proceedings. Law firm funding can help firms meet those needs.
Law Firms Serve an Array of Public Sector Clients
There are more than 90,000 government units in the US, according to the most recent census data. The range of services provided by these agencies, departments, and offices is vast and touches all aspects of American society. Government entities served by law firms include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Police and fire departments;
- Military branches and offices;
- Public utilities;
- Jails and prisons;
- Local school districts and boards;
- Colleges and universities;
- Airport and transit authorities;
- Housing authorities;
- Disaster relief agencies;
- Social service agencies;
- Human resources divisions; and
- Development offices.
Common Government Legal Issues
Government entities serve varied roles in society and public policy. Government legal issues are diverse and often complex, requiring specialized legal guidance and representation. Law firms counsel and represent government bodies in diverse matters like these:
- Contracts and agreements, including high dollar matters such as highway construction and eminent domain;
- Federal and state statutory and regulatory compliance;
- Real estate and property disputes;
- Labor and employment issues, including class action claims and matters unique to public employment;
- Technology and cybersecurity, including data breach compliance and clean-up;
- Consumer litigation, such as opioid and tobacco litigation;
- Environmental legal matters; and
- Tort, toxic tort, and exposure issues.
This small sampling of government legal issues illustrates the public sector’s need for experienced attorneys who have the support of a strong firm and the ability to access resources.
Legal Representation of Government Entities
Government entities often contend with a higher level of public scrutiny than companies in the private sector. These bodies are administered under specific sets of regulations and often must follow designated procedures not imposed on cases in which a government entity is not a party.
These regulations are designed to serve the best interest of the public. They often require disclosure of certain acts or records not required of private parties, but navigating intricate legal matters in the public eye can be difficult. Attorneys who represent government entities must be able to finesse these special considerations.
Law firm funding benefits government entities because it provides firms with the working capital necessary to hone attorney skills, hire talented researchers, consult with the most respected experts, and tolerate government bidding and payment requirements. This funding also allows law firms to invest in their own growth and stability.