M.L.E. Post (My Learnings Extended)

It never fails that I post something, and the next moment stumble upon an instance, fact, argument, twist, or rebuttal that deserves to be with the post. The new stuff, unfortunately, does not on its own justify a separate post. So I hereby politely introduce the M.L.E. Post, where I will periodically and courteously collect my extended learnings.

Tenure of general counsel. “Only one in nine US chief executives left their jobs last year.” The Financial Times, June 22, 2005 at pg. 8. My guess that CLO and CEO tenures were about as long – posted on August 24, 2005, was not far off the mark.

Project managers. An article in the Economist (June 11, 2005 at pages 57-8) described the number of trained project managers in major companies. Compaq, for example, had 1,400 on its payroll and three out of four European companies employ project managers. Hence, my post of April 18, 2005 about having a project manager on major litigation at least has support in that a number are available.

Organizing lawyers by law school subject: Contrary to my sense that law departments are shifting from legal practice areas to business support practice areas, the Food Lion department has eight “core practice managers,” one each for corporate and securities (plus tax), labor & employment, real estate, litigation and IP, contracts, employee benefits, and government relations. Counsel to Counsel, July 2005 at pg. 6 (See my post of Aug. 27, 2005 about double solid line reporting.)

Reputational risk and law departments: A survey of 150 European law departments, reported in Counsel to Counsel (July 2005 at pg. 12) found “Corporate compliance/reputational risk” to be at an average of 8 (highest was at 8.1, “working more closely with business units”). I wish the survey designers had not combined the two topics. Compliance has a more limited scope, to me, than does reputational risk. (See my post of Aug. 31, 2005 on the scope of “reputational risk.”)

Importance of developing talent: “Training and developing staff” ranked 8th out of 12 “tasks or issues” in a survey of 150 European law departments, reported in Counsel to Counsel (July 2005 at pg. 12) (See my post of April 8, 2005 on employee satisfaction.)

Underused technology: “Using new technologies to drive efficiency” ranked 11th out of 12 “tasks or issues” in a survey of 150 European law departments, reported in Counsel to Counsel (July 2005 at pg. 12). What about using existing technologies better to drive efficiency?

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