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Communication tools for managing lawyers in virtual law departments

Increasingly, as law departments spread around the globe, managing lawyers and those who work for them are no longer in the same location. Gone are the days when an Associate General Counsel could walk down the hall to supervise the day-to-day work of junior counsel. The Financial Times (Aug. 26, 2005 at 7) raised the interesting question of which communication tools best fill the supervisory gap:

“Critically, managers must have a deeper understanding of when to use the wide range of communications that are now available. When is a phone call best? A teleconference? A video conference? An e-mail? A face-to-face meeting?”

The article urges law departments to start a far-flung, virtual project with an in-person gathering. It later observes that “face-to-face sessions are for intensive, real-time problem solving while virtual meetings are for efficient information sharing and assessing progress.”

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