Articles on This Blog

Part LXX in my series of collected metaposts embedded in other posts

This blog produces an unending stream of posts.  Periodically I harvest those on a topic.  Metaposts, as I call these collections, include most recently the following.


Arbitration II (See my post of May 30, 2012: arbitrations with 9 references.).

Brazil (See my post of July 9, 2012: Brazil and 11 references.).

Disbursements of firms passed through directly (See my post of June 28, 2012: charge throughs of disbursements by firms with 6 references.).

Footprints of dispersed departments (See my post of July 25, 2012: footprints with 7 references.).

Graduates of law school directly to law department (See my post of June 13, 20112: hires by law departments from law schools with 6 references.).

Industries and benchmarks II (See my post of June 20, 2012: benchmarks by industries with 14 references.).

Language (See my post of July 9, 2012: speakers of foreign languages in law departments with 6 references.).

Process maps II (See my post of July 24, 2012: process maps with 6 references.).

Secondment IV (See my post of May 31, 2012: secondments with 9 references.).

Settlements II (See my post of June 13, 2012: settlements and lack of data with 8 references.).


Trumpet fanfare! Announcing my new-look blog, and some comments on posts by category

I hope you like my blog make-over.  Through the excellent work of my friends at Justia and the steady encouragement of Geoff Gussis, this blog heads into the second half of 2012 and beyond as a WordPress blog.

As of July 4, 2012, a day after my new WordPress blog had its coming out party, these were the 14 categories for my posts and the numbers of posts in them.

Outside Counsel (1,574)

Talent (862)

Productivity (632)

Benchmarks (628)

Non-Law Firm Costs (614)

Tools (610)

Structure (369)

Technology (299)

Showing Value (294)

Thinking (262)

Clients (243)

Knowledge Mgt. (234)

This Blog (131)

Thoughts/Observations (616)

Obviously, more that comes to my attention as a blogger pertains to law firms hired by law departments.  Almost twice as many posts over the past 7.5 years as any other category have pertained to those vital relationships.  Nor is it surprising that the people in law departments, the talent as some HR folks call them, have accumulated the second largest number of posts.  Four other categories cluster at around 600 each: productivity, benchmarks, costs other than law firms (which includes outsourcing), and tools.  My slimmest substantive category is knowledge management and then there is the catch-all, “thoughts and observations.”  On these 7,319 posts there remain 893 comments.  “Remain,” for the reason that I have deleted probably at least that number because they are advertisements or spam.

A small attempt to stimulate collective thinking on law department operations

I tried something for the first time. I prepared a decent draft of an article to be published and circulated it for comments to about a half dozen people whose thoughts I would value. Academics do that all the time with works-in-process, but not only do I regrettably finish my articles just before the clock strikes midnight but also I did not know how people would react to my invitation.

In the event, several did, including Blane Erwin of Bridgeway, Jeff Hodge the consultant, Mark Poag of Datacert, and Rob Thomas of Serengeti. We exchanged ideas that improved my article. Since I can’t thank you in the article, I will thank you here.

Twitter followers of this blog, or me, and changes in RSS patterns

Looking in on my Twitter account, I was surprised to learn how many people are following me (@reesmorrison): 650. Back in late January of 2011, I wrote that 344 were doing so at that time, so something like one a day have seen fit to connect. The group has lots of vendors and legal publishers and people interested in law and technology – plus others that leave me at a loss as to why they follow.

What is going on, I believe, is that all my posts here flow through in abbreviated style to Twitter. Those who follow me can then click on the ones that pique their interest. Reflective of that pattern, Twitter shows up on SiteMeter as the source of 50 visits to my blog recently. The trend is steadily upwards, which does not bode well for RSS sites such as FeedBurner and the many others.

This blog, seven years old today!

Who would have thought it? Started on a whim, encouraged by Aric Press for ALM’s fledgling network of blogs, survivor of bitter opposition within Hildebrandt, unsure of its focus or style or reception or longevity, awkward in its use of technology for blogging, somehow this blog has kept calm and carried on.

Seven years and today thousands of readers every week, few known to me but everywhere I go. “Oh, Rees, I read your blog!”

Seven years of averaging more than five posts every two days, rain or shine.

Seven years of metaposts that cluster related posts, not to mention three “blooks” of posts on outside counsel, talent and structure.

Learning and marveling at the software swirling around blogs, like SiteMeeter, FeedBurner, Twitter, LlinkedIn, Pinhaw,, TinyURLs, TweetDeck, RSS feeds of every kind, Google Analytics, Pulse, .jpg ads, icons that animate, Creative Commons, polls, ads, blog rolls, archives, and much more.

Seven years trying to write clearly and engagingly, in syncopation with articles monthly in Legal Times (now the National Law Journal), all supplemented in the past two years with a bi-weekly column for InsideCounsel.

LawDepartmentManagement, Rees Morrison’s labor of blog, looks forward enthusiastically to at least another seven years.

Part LXII in my series of collected metaposts embedded

  1. Collective action (See my post of Dec. 19, 2011: collective actions by law departments with 6 references and 1 meta.).

  2. Compliance reports to legal (See my post of Dec. 31, 2011: compliance reporting to GC with 5 references and 2.).

  3. Contract complexity (See my post of Dec. 22, 2011: complexity of contracts with 6 references.).

  4. General counsel behaving badly (See my post of Dec. 14, 2011: poor behavior by GCs with 15 references.).

  5. Indices of concentration, Gini, Herfindahl (See my post of Nov. 30, 2011: measurements of concentration with 6 references.).

  6. Intellectual property IV (See my post of Dec. 29, 2011: IP posts in the 6,000s with 25 references.).

  7. Practice and innate talent (See my post of Dec. 1, 2011: years of deliberate practice leads to expertise with 6 references.).

  8. Risk, recent posts (See my post of Dec. 5, 2011: risk with 7 references.).

  9. Schedules (See my post of Jan. 6, 2011: schedules of in-house lawyers with 6 references.).

  10. Titles II (See my post of Dec. 1, 2011: titles with 8 references and 1 meta.)

Ten most thought-provoking posts of November 2011

Mitratech, a leading matter management system provider, acquired by private equity firm (Nov. 1, 2011)

Vista Equity Partners, a private equity firm with some $6 billion in investments, acquired Mitratech.

A reporting line to the board to assure the general counsel of more independence (Nov. 3, 2011)

A general counsel who is appointed and can only be removed by the Board.

Corporate illegality increases law department workload and a methodology to add some reality to that statement (Nov. 21, 2011)

Four categories of criminal activity, maybe with less emphasis on environmental transgressions, could be extended to other industries.

Over ten years, on average each year five percent higher hourly rates for large U.S. law firms (Nov. 22, 2011)

Associate rates went up by 5.4 percent on average each of those years.

Caution: recognize your System 1 reactions, refine them with System 2 thinking, and keep fit (Nov. 23, 2011)

The human brain when it is processing input has two radically different personas: an impulsive, intuitive, impressionable, pattern-creating function and a more deliberate, evaluative, orderly and demanding function.

The typical longevity of a matter management system averages five to seven years (Nov. 28, 2011)

Given the cost, diversion of time and energy, and risks that face law departments when they license and install a matter management system, it surprises me to see a five-year average life.

Reconsider two common beliefs about leadership: trying times demand boldness and innovation is key (Nov. 29, 2011)

Collins does not believe it inevitable that “turbulent times call for bold and risk-loving leaders.”

Causal thinking with stories compared to statistical thinking with numbers (Nov. 29, 2011)

Our evolution equipped us to create causal explanations for events much more readily than to grasp underlying statistical explanations.

Value and its flip-side, risk, ought to both be stated for a time period (Nov. 30, 2011)

Quantification of value and risk needs to state a period of time in which to accrue returns.

Deeper thinking, exploration of more pros and cons, can lead to less feeling of confidence in a decision (Nov. 30, 2011)

The more arguments you come up with to support your decision, the less confident you will be that the decision is correct.

7,000 – seven thousand – 7*103 – √49,000,000 – 0x1B58 (hexadecimal) – 1101101011000 (binary) – 15530 (octal) – 4074 (duodecimal) – 103.845098

Last year around this time, Dec. 14th to be exact, I published post number 6,000. This post is the one-thousandth post after that one.

After 7,000 of these little critters, as always I fret the well will run dry; so far, however, the aquifer of law department management topics remains high. The blogable ideas just keep on flowing, like the Biblical widow’s cruse. Nor has the pace of metaposts slowed. It does seem, however, that I am not getting more blogs or websites referring readers here. Twitter accounts for an increasing number of my visitors.

I did a few new things during the last thousand posts. My series on Cottage Industrialists began and has had six segments. My first QR (Quick Response) code appeared and for the first time I offered readers a chance to download a file after they had registered through ShareFile. Also new was not the annual summary of the ten best posts per month but a comparison of them to those of the year before.

Happy New Year, everyone!

An uber-post on 19 hyperposts (collections of metaposts)

Don’t worry if you don’t understand the header, I’ll translate. When I notice a potential accumulation, I collect six or more posts on a topic into what I call “metaposts,” of which there are now more than 500. Every now and then at least six metaposts cluster around a topic and when assembled I call them hyper-posts.

Reflexively, as loyal readers would appreciate, I decided to see how many hyper-posts this blog has generated since the first one in the fall of 2008. Astonishingly, there have been at least 19 hyperposts.

Billing (See my post of Jan. 2, 2009: 8 metaposts.).

Benchmarks (See my post of July 19, 2009: 10 metaposts.).

Benchmarks (See my post of May 29, 2011: 13 metaposts.).

Competitive bids (See my post of Oct.12, 2010: 7 references and 6 metaposts.).

Contracts (See my post of July 4, 2011: 11 metaposts, including 2 on document assembly.).

Creativity and innovation (See my post of May 24, 2010: 6 metaposts.).

Intellectual property (See my post of Aug. 19, 2009 #3: 6 metaposts.).

General counsel (See my post of Nov. 18, 2009: 6 metaposts.).

Levels other than general counsel (See my post of Oct. 11, 2009: 7 metaposts.).

Litigation management (See my post of Oct. 2, 2008: 12 metaposts.).

Managerial power (See my post of April 11, 2011: 13 metaposts.).

Marketing by law firms (See my post of July 16, 2009: 7 references and 5 metaposts.).

Patents (See my post of Dec. 31, 2011: 8 metaposts).

Process improvement (See my post of July 31, 2009: 3 references and 5 metaposts.).

Productivity through talent (See my post of Nov. 29, 2009: 12 metaposts.).

Reporting lines (See my post of Jan. 14, 2011: 8 metaposts.).

Software (See my post of Sept. 5, 2009: 5 references and 11 metaposts.).

Software for law departments (See my post of July 8, 2009: 12 metaposts.).

Statistics (See my post of Sept. 13, 2009: 7 metaposts.).

A second hyper-post on patent posts from this blog

These are the eight metaposts I have compiled since my last hyper-post on intellectual property (See my post of Aug. 19, 2009 #3: six metaposts on intellectual property.). The latest topics include:

Patent trolls (See my post of March 22, 2010: non-practicing entities with 6 references.).

Patent license agreements (See my post of April 29, 2011: licensing patents with 9 references.).

Two on patent software (See my post of Jan. 23, 2011: four categories of patent-related software with 15 references; and Sept. 5, 2009: databases for intellectual property with 11 references.).

Patent invention incentives (See my post of Dec. 13, 2010: awards for inventors with 6 references.).

Intellectual property generally (See my post of Dec. 29, 2011: IP posts in the past 1,000 with 25 references.).

Two on Research & Development (See my post of March 2, 2009: R&D with 12 references; and Sept. 20, 2010: R&D spend related to legal spend with 8 references.).