Borrowing from macro- and micro-economics to consider perspectives on legal department management

Macroeconomics takes a top-down perspective on economic activity whereas microeconomics looks at the elements of economic activity. According to Nicholas Wapshott, Keynes Hayek: the clash that defined modern economics (Norton 2011) at 196, John Maynard Keynes invented the macro branch. Possibly, but whether he did or not is beside the point of this post. Along the way Wapshott claims Keynes also invented econometrics, the measurement of economic activity at a national level. The genius of Keynes, Wapshott summarizes, switched the economic discourse from philosophical and abstract to social scientific and empirical.

Management of legal departments hardly stands shoulder to shoulder with economics, and in fact the comparison is risible. Still, a macro view of law departments would cite globalization, telecommunications, business models, environmentalism, and total flows of legal expenses and revenue. A micro view would break the subject up into components, perhaps like the categories on this blog. As far as a counterpart for econometrics, benchmarks anyone?

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