Morale in a law department: symptoms of underlying causes

If a law department suffers from “low morale,” it is because one or more other elements of the department are out of joint, not that morale fluctuates on its own. Just as personal happiness is a consequence or byproduct, not an independent entity, morale flickers (or blazes) because the law department has a confused role (or a clearly understood one), suffers criticism from clients (or has earned their respect and praise), stumbles through making decisions (or resolves issues expeditiously), has a hodge-podge of titles and compensation (or titles consistently and pays above market), faces layoffs (or enjoys stable growth), and so on.

High morale follows alignment, order, clarity, respect, and purpose; low morale mutters about a law department at odds with its underlying elements.

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