The largest law departments have increased in lawyer numbers over the past five years. The total number of lawyers in the Corporate Legal Times listing of 200 largest law departments in 2000 was 25,836. Four years later that same listing, admittedly with different companies in it, came to a total of 27,420 attorneys, which means the group had grown by six percent.
Larger law departments have more specialists (See my post of Sept 10, 2005), larger numbers of any given type of matter or event and thus the critical mass to address it; more money at stake, and more resources generally for coordination and management. Unlike in physics where the second law of thermodynamics requires nature to degenerate to a state of entropy and anarchy, law departments that grow steadily add sophistication.
If we combine the steady growth of the largest law departments with these capabilities that enable innovation, it should surprise no one that the world of law department management continues to add abilities and initiatives. (See my post of today about sources of law department innovation.)