When lawyers are in the minority in a law and compliance department

Bill Casazza, the general counsel of Aetna, “oversees the work of about 300 people. Seventy are lawyers,” according to Corp. Bd. Mbr., Vol. 12, 2nd Quarter 2009 at 47. Since the ratio of lawyers to non-lawyers in most US law departments stands typically around one to one, Aetna’s legal team probably includes compliance professionals, indeed possibly more of them than lawyers, paralegals and secretaries.

When lawyers amount to something like a quarter of a legal department it becomes more difficult to involve everyone equally in departmental off-sites, because it is harder to pick topics that have relevance to everyone. It is also harder to sustain a one-department culture when members have widely differing backgrounds and tasks. There is a further risk that some group will feel second class (See my post of March 26, 2005: compliance staff as second class citizens.).

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