I’m out on a limb here, since all I claim to know a bit about are law departments, but what does this quote suggest: “[O]ur study found that many organizations have a negative perception of their IT departments. Often executives agree that technology is important – but that their IT departments are not.”? The quote comes from MIT Sloan Mgt. Rev., Summer 2010 at 17.
Somewhat similarly, HR departments endure their share of disparagement – endless paperwork, expense, delay, little value added. And who praises finance with its disbursement delays, P.O. policies, constraints on budgets, and other irritations.
What right does the legal department have to think it should escape the scorn of business clients? In their heart, business executives dislike the strictures of the law, its delays, arrogance, costs, and dice-rolling. They would not mourn if the legal department were to evaporate so, since it doesn’t, they carp and criticize.