The silent majority of general counsel – it’s completely dark out there about what most legal departments are doing

A few general counsel relish the klieg lights of panels, quotes, and profiles, but the other 99 percent go about their business without leaving a trace for others to learn. Publicity trails a handful of spokes-GCs, and I have written about several of those whose management initiatives get cited all the time (See my post of Jan. 30, 2008: publicity by law departments with 12 references; and June 11, 2007: publicity with 12 references.).

Overwhelmingly, however, opacity rules. We simply do not know anything about the operations of most legal departments. The well-known ones are, well, well-known (See my post of July 13, 2009: Cisco, DuPont, FMC, GE, McDonalds, Microsoft, UTC and Wal-Mart with 169 internal references and six metaposts.)

The silent masses of general counsel, the thousands and thousands that have not shared their ideas and experiences about running a legal team, probably choose to do so because they are very busy, they feel they have nothing worthwhile to offer, they do not wish to share their effective practices, they don’t want to look like glory hounds, or they don’t care much about management. Like dark matter makes up most of the universe but we can’t see it, most of what happens in the oversight of internal legal teams passes unnoticed.

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