Unintended consequences and trade offs of actions taken

With a nod to Sir Isaac, for every management action taken in a law department, there is an equal and opposite reaction. It would be an excellent discipline for every manager to ponder the trade-offs inherent in every recommendation.

If we decide to “add paralegals,” shouldn’t we expect the opposite reaction that the company will oppose headcount additions, someone will have to manage the paralegals, paralegals have little upward mobility, change is unsettling, and lawyers will have to know how to delegate to them effectively – not to mention that there must be sufficient work to keep them busy? We don’t intend the consequences, and some of them are negative.

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