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A table to describe the law department’s roles and responsibilities

An excellent piece by Michael Kaminski, a partner at Foley & Lardner, describes patent metrics (See my post of July 8, 2006 that describes the paper.). His first metric is not a quantitative measure, but rather a “way to judge whether the patent department is conducting its businesses the way it should” (at 10-11).

Picture a two-column by four-row table. The left column of the first row states a patent policy; the column to the right describes the policy. The next row describes accountabilities, with a summary in the first column and a fuller discussion in the right column. The third row describes who is responsible for carrying out those tasks, while the final row describes more detail about the procedures to be followed.

While this tool is described here in terms of the patent function, it is a technique that could clarify policies, accountabilities, and procedures wherever they apply in a law department.

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