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Additional definitions for the law department management lexicon

It’s only meet and right that there is a word for the vocabulary of specialists – lexicon – so let’s celebrate a lexicon of terms law department managers frequently use. I have previously collected definitions and discussions of 32 words or phrases (See my post of May 3, 2006 with a list of terms defined in this blog.) and here are 10 more.

Best practices (See my posts of April 2, 2005 regarding survivor bias and best practices; July 14, 2005 about the most important practices being the hardest to imitate; Sept. 13, 2005 on how easily we overlook common good practices; May 30, 2006 on our bias toward novel practices; and June 6, 2006 on another round of criticism.)

Core competency (See my posts of May 14, 2005 on Bain’s survey of management; Sept. 21, 2005 on a brand company’s legal focus; Feb. 8, 2006 on British real property; March 13, 2006 on Philip Morris tools; July 31, 2006 on them being non-rival goods; and Aug. 9, 2006 on some of my peripheral thoughts.)

Cottage industry (See my multiple posts of July and Aug. 2006 on these vendors who thrive on law department purchases.)

Delegation: how well a person assigns work to someone else and how well they help the other person do what’s needed to be done (See my post of Aug. 26, 2005 on delegation to paralegals.)

Dotted/solid line (See my post of May 7, 2006 on GE and dotted line legal reporting.)

Empowerment: the power and ability to act or decide (See my posts of April 16, 2006 on empowered clients; and May 3, 2006 on lawyers empowered at Computer Associates.)

Mission statement (See my previous posts on: April 8, 2005 on their being impossible; Aug. 3, 2005 on making them part of daily behavior; Aug. 3, 2005 on mistakes made developing them; Aug. 3, 2005 on “alignment with clients;” Aug. 26, 2005 with an Orwellian satire; Oct. 21, 2005 on three tests for their usability, Oct. 31, 2005 as a link to strategy, and Dec. 7, 2005 on a standard version.)

Policies: statements of how people should or should not act (See my post of Aug. 8, 2006 about outside counsel policies.)

Processes (See my posts of May 1, June 28, and Aug. 13, 2006 processes in law departments.)

Retention letters (See my post of Aug. 24, 2006 that compares them to outside counsel guidelines.)