Zero-based staffing decisions by general counsel

Janet Langford Kelly, Susan Sneider and Kelly Fox, “The Relationship Between the Legal Department and the Corporation,” in Successful Partnering Between Inside and Outside Counsel (Robert Haig, Ed.) Vol. 1, Chapter 16 at 16-19. “A tool that works for the general counsel is to imagine that she is designing a new legal department from scratch that meets the needs of the company.”

It is very hard to abstract from the current lawyers and their scopes of responsibility, but this is still a commendable, stimulating exercise (See my post of Jan. 2, 2009: zero-based budgets.). To cover the topic adequately goes far beyond what this single post can attempt. In brief, the thought experiment starts with a ranked listing of core legal needs of the company and then matches staff to those needs (See my post of April 6, 2009: role-sizing.). Much easier said than done.

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