One of the speakers at the SuperConference was the general counsel of LG Electronics (US), a $6 billion dollar manufacturer that has only five in-house lawyers. Among their efforts to cope with the flood of work was to set clear boundaries between purchase orders (POs) and contracts. The speaker said that the legal department reviewed approximately 1,200 contracts in 2009, so this was no trivial exercise. POs stay with clients; contracts require some legal time.
It is a good example of a law department that (1) sets its boundaries, (2) helps clients proceed on their own much of the time, (3) tracks metrics, and (4) focuses on the highest legal risks (See my post of Dec. 2, 2007: purchase orders.).