Here is where this off-beat idea comes from. “An example of a strategy for controlling the predictability of intrusions in organizations is the institution of “quiet time,” whereby members of an organization agreed to a standard period of clock time during which coworkers will not intrude on each other and organizational members can concentrate on their solitary work.” This eyebrow-raising concept (horribly written as it may be) comes from the Acad. Mgt. J., July 2003 at 496.
Perhaps it is worth a try in a legal department. “Let’s all agree to a time out among ourselves from interruptions so we can collect our thoughts and ponder a bit.” If clients, adversaries, regulators and external bodies call or email, so be it. Within the department quiet will prevail for that brief period. Maybe it would only be on Wednesdays, maybe it would be at another time of the day, certainly there will be exceptions and it won’t work perfectly, but it might quiet the tumult and boost the cognitive productivity of the department.