One of the contributors to a recent article in Met. Corp. Counsel, Vol. 17, March 2009 at 35. makes the statement that the most technically efficient legal departments are the ones with dedicated legal IT reporting to the general counsel instead of to the CIO. I agree, but an in-department technology person is a luxury available only to the largest departments.
I had a much stronger reaction to the comment made next: “This structure cuts out the middleman in translating requirements to technology and ensures that the legal department is serviced with the most cost appropriate technology in a timely manner without the constraints of corporate IT policy.” (emphasis added). There I disagree. Corporate-wide policies about security, retention, downloading, equipment, ASPs, and software suites remain in place. No law department is an island and even with a cadre of excellent technical staff, the general counsel must abide by the over-riding rules of the IT function.