This blog has already seen arguments that size matters, which means that bigger departments have the managerial edge on innovation (See my post of April 5, 2005 on a positive correlation between law department size and new practices.). Large departments – more than 30 lawyers – can and indeed must manage their resources more than must smaller departments, at the least simply because there is more to guide and direct.
Contrary thinkers, however, can point out that it is often hard for large, established law departments to make significant breakthroughs. Size blocks the arteries of change. Inertia (See my post of Dec. 19, 2005 on inertia.), passive-aggressiveness (See my post of Jan. 17, 2006 on that trait.), politics (See my post of Oct. 10, 2005 on infighting for succession.), corporate resistance (See my post of March 26, 2006 on powerful staff functions like IT and HR), and tradition guard the door against change.
My position is that larger law departments demand better oversight and techniques, so large law departments are the more likely incubators and laboratories of managerial change.