Hard as it may be to get traction for a change within a single legal department, it is significantly harder to corral several law departments to march in one direction. Yet it happens. Several general counsel agree to do something jointly and the resulting shared effort, a consortium, can achieve more than any individual department could. All associations for general counsel contain the seeds, at the least, of collective action, even if only sharing information (See my post of March 1, 2009: GC groups with 12 references.).
In recent months I have noted a number of instances or possibilities (See my post of July 4, 2009: database compiled jointly of diversity firms; Aug. 20, 2009: statements signed by groups of general counsel, including my prediction of an environmental one; Aug. 21, 2009: Pro Bono Institute; Dec. 7, 2009: shared diversity questionnaire for law firms; Jan. 11, 2010: shared evaluations of law firms; Feb. 25, 2010: pooling of purchases by smaller legal departments; and June 21, 2010: reward system for knowledge base contributors.).
Before, I wrote about law departments and their united efforts to evaluate outside counsel (See my post of Nov. 5, 2009: collective assessments by law departments of their firms with 10 references.).
Before that, two metaposts assembled references to combined actions by multiple legal departments (See my post of Oct. 14, 2005: collective activities by law departments with 5 references; and June 10, 2009: joint collaborations by legal departments with 18 references.).