Managing all those people! GCs and the number of reports to them in large departments

As I read an article about general counsel who graduated Columbia Law School (I am class of 1977), I kept noticing the large numbers of people who report to the lawyers profiled. George Madison at TIAA-CREF “manages a team of 250” in compliance and law, Brad Smith at Microsoft “oversees a legal and corporate affairs department of 850 people.”

Other general counsel had only the number of lawyers mentioned, such as Joe Ryan at Marriott who “supervises more than 70 lawyers,” Larry Purtell at Alcoa “who heads of team of 75 lawyers,” and Esta Stecher at Goldman Sachs and “her team of 200 attorneys.” Since law departments typically have one non-lawyer for every lawyer, at a minimum you can double these numbers.

OK, no surprises here. General counsel of large companies lead large flocks. To be an effective shepherd takes skills quite different than what it takes to give excellent legal advice.

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