Professionalism runs rampant in legal departments – not just lawyers. More and more members of legal departments at least have the opportunity for additional education and recognition as a trained person in their area, a hallmark of professionalism. This idea came to me from an article on the rising level of professionalism in nonprofits and its rationalizing effect on how they are run, all in Admin. Sciences Quarterly, Vol. 54, June 2009 at 268. Somewhat similarly,
E-discovery experts can take courses and be recognized;
Paralegals can earn certifications (See my post of March 23, 2006: certificates of paralegals; and March 19, 2006: certified legal assistants are as common as non-certified.);
Lawyers and others can obtain MBA’s (See my post of Dec. 31, 2006: JD/MBA degrees; Dec. 20, 2005: administrators with MBA’s; Nov. 25, 2006: UK MBA for in-house lawyers; June 16, 2006 #3: another UK MBA course; April 12, 2006: program in US for in-house MBA; Feb. 13, 2008: ACC’s Executive Leadership Institute; June 15, 2008: dozens of Caterpillar lawyers earned MBAs; Dec. 23, 2008: ten administrators in survey had MBA; May 7, 2009: GC invested in MBA; and July 13, 2009: repayment expectation.);
Outside counsel cost managers will someday have specialized training;
Project managers avail themselves of training (See my post of June 24, 2007: project management with 5 references.);
Six Sigma belts hang everywhere (See my post of Feb. 13, 2008: Six Sigma with 18 references.); and
IT credentials already abound, such as being a certified LAN specialist.
The level of training among members of legal departments will certainly rise during the coming years (See my post of June 15, 2008: executive education with 8 references.).