A managerial breakthrough waiting to happen is the recognition by general counsel that an isolationist view of law departments limits our understanding of reality. It is blinkered to focus on how law departments become involved in an issue only at certain points and exit when the “legal part” is done. A holistic view of the situation would be better. In real life, events do not break themselves into clearly discernible “legal chunks” (See my post of Jan. 3, 2008 on a similar view that “legal risk” is broadly defined.).
Law departments ought to pitch into to examinations that go back in time to the origins of problems and forward in time to their full resolution and even to later consequences (See my post of Aug. 16, 2006 about a sense of end-to-end contract processing.). This requires cross-functional teams as well as people from different levels to carry out end-to-end examinations of processes.