A one-to-one ratio and a significant operations department (Abbott)

Laura Schumacher, the general counsel of Abbott Laboratories, heads 162 lawyers and total staff of 328. The ratio of lawyers to staff is almost exactly even (See my post of April 18, 2009: lawyers as percentage of total legal staff and more with one to one; March 26, 2006: EMC ratio of one-to-one; and July 9, 2009: one-to-one ratio is normal.).

Within that group runs a sizeable operations department responsible for purely business functions, such as information technology systems, finance and human resources. The operations group is also responsible for electronic discovery and records management, outside counsel and legal vendor management, intellectual property operations, performance enhancement and measurement initiatives, assisting the litigation groups with management, and administration. Speaking of this group, Schumacher said, “Together, we run the legal division as a business, making sure that we have the necessary infrastructure and financial planning and controls to account for the budget for which we have responsibility.”

In an article by Richard Acello, Nat’l L.J., Aug. 6, 2009, she said the department budget runs to “tens of millions” of dollars.”

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