Having collected posts on several other legal departments whose management efforts have been well-publicized, I decided to tally them for Microsoft. Setting aside any references on Law Department Management Blog to the software licensed by Microsoft, I found 30 references to what that company’s enormous and active legal group has pursued. The posts cover almost every category on this blog, so I have organized them in chronological order within the categories.
Two posts hinge on benchmarks (See my post of Aug. 3, 2005: patents per billion dollars of R&D; and Aug. 4, 2005: benchmark study spurs more patents.).
Others cover cost controls (See my post of June 15, 2005: outsourcing to reduce costs; Nov. 3, 2005: savings on e-billing; May 13, 2007: litigation against patent trolls; Nov. 11, 2005: $100 million spent on patent litigation; and Sept. 3, 2008: savings from offshore patent support.).
The category of outside counsel was under-represented (See my post of Jan. 4, 2006: dealing with firms across borders.) as was productivity (See my post of July 21, 2005: collective activity with GM and Cisco.).
Structure has the most blog entries regarding Microsoft (See my post of Aug. 27, 2005: law department includes government affairs; Aug. 27, 2005: supports own IT staff; Dec. 19, 2005: a legal and corporate affairs department of 850; April 30, 2006 #5: “procurement manager”; Aug. 8, 2006: its top lawyer in Europe; Jan. 4, 2006: Deputy GCs; Feb. 7, 2007: IP czar appointed; and Jan. 11, 2009: staff foreign offices first with generalists.).
Technology – well, we should expect Microsoft to excel (See my post of Jan. 4, 2006: uses document assembly; April 9, 2006: joint portal development; May 16, 2006: survey by Microsoft found that matter management systems are the least successful technology; Feb. 6, 2007: uses DealBuilder software; April 8, 2007: law firms help with rule-based drafting; Dec. 11, 2007: software to classify patent portfolios; and May 3, 2008: internal blogs.).
Talent, too, had a cluster of posts (See my post of April 6, 2009: Brad Smith as one of 20 most influential GCs; June 9, 2009: three tenors and also GC of Microsoft; May 2, 2008: employee-satisfaction poll; May 3, 2008: GC has monthly breakfasts with staff; May 8, 2008: online tool to allow comments after Town Halls; and Dec. 5, 2008: contributions as sponsor of conferences.).