Law department practice emphasizes productivity more than innovation

As a generalization, in house counsel and their law firm confreres focus on getting the work done, not on thinking about how to do it better. For example, neither side conducts post-mortems (after-matter reviews) to codify what they have learned from a recently concluded matter (See my post of Dec. 10, 2005 on post-mortems.).

Nor is there much attention paid, indeed if any, to training the other side except as the knowledge is immediately necessary to the tasks at hand (See my post of May 24, 2007 regarding the lack of training by law firms of their in-house teammates.). Doing something differently has many shackles (See my post of Nov. 24, 2007 on creativity, obstacles to it, and references cited.).

With cost consciousness at the forefront in law departments, the attention of both sides is on productivity – get it done in the least time and at the lowest cost – rather than on innovation – improve how the process works (See my post of Feb.6, 2007 and 17 references regarding processes.).

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