In-house official reporting lines are not ambiguous, but whom to keep happy may be

“Unlike in law firms, where the reporting lines are obvious to everyone, there is ambiguity in corporate reporting structures, and they usually do not work in reality as they appear on paper.” Not so, say I. Official reporting lines are always clear in law departments, contrary to this assertion in the ACC Docket, Vol. 30, Nov. 2008 at 53.

What is often murky, however, is the plethora of people that an in-house attorney must attend to and satisfy. Who asks you for help and whose work has priority fluctuates all the time, but that is not a reporting relationship. In my terminology, a reporting relationship means someone who determines your career, sets your compensation, expects your prompt updates and communication when appropriate, and governs your workload (See my post of Jan. 12, 2009: a definition of reporting with 13 references.).

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