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At least thirty-five locations of in-house counsel for one law department (Johnson & Johnson)

At the start of a piece in ACC Docket, April 2007 at 96, Phil Crowley, a senior lawyer with Johnson & Johnson, mentions that “our law department has grown from 40 lawyers in one office location to over 240 lawyers in more than 35 office locations around the world.” Since a large chunk of the J&J lawyers are located at the headquarters in New Jersey, is it plausible that something like 140 of them are in the remaining 34 locations? If so, many lawyers are solo in their location, or only one or two stationed together.

It becomes difficult for a law department to share a culture, feel like one department, operate on common standards – in short, work as a productive team – when its lawyers are as scattered as those of J&J (See my posts of Oct. 19, 2005 on communication tools for virtual law departments, May 14, 2006 on the difference between communication and collaboration; March 23, 2007 on the decline of communication frequency with distance; but see my posts of Dec. 7, 2005 on communication time wasters; and Nov. 30, 2005 on the clamor for more communication; of Sept. 10, 2005 on communities of interest on retreats to bring lawyers together; of Feb. 19, 2006 on decentralized lawyers and a subservience risk; and Jan. 1, 2006 on decentralized reporting at GE.).

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