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A one-size-fits-all mission statement

The mission statement of Johns Hopkins Medicine’s Legal Department could be prescribed , with XYZ filled in, for any law department. Examine it yourself, but let me quote and generalize that legal department’s statement: “The mission of the Legal Department of [XYZ Corp.] is to further the strategic goals and to protect and preserve the legal, ethical and financial integrity and reputation of [XYZ Corp.]. Such a mission statement expresses lofty ideals, exudes the resonance of profundity, and washes smoothly over the legal landscape – but try to ground it on the shore of reality, to operationalize it, to make it intelligible to Chris Lawyer (See my post of Jan. 15, 2007 on high-level statements and the knowledge curse.).

Too much foam, too little wave.

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