All staff functions serving as input for business managers, why is law deemed special?

It’s probably not good for me, a consultant to law departments, to take law departments down a peg or two, but here I go. All the staff function, be they HR, finance, information technology, internal audit, facilities, PR, law, provide specialized input and support for business managers. Why lawyers should flatter themselves that their counsel outranks any other staff professional’s advice is beyond me.

Well, yes, lawyers have graduated law school and passed a bar exam. But so have medical doctors who work for a company (See my post of Nov. 9, 2010: professional standards for in-house physicians.) and CPAs. Lawyers have ethical obligations, but they are not alone in that regard (See my post of June 29, 2011: heightened expectations regarding integrity of the general counsel.). What blesses or curses employed lawyers with the halo of probity?

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