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From January, the ten most interesting posts according to their poster (me)

  1. An effective law department: a common notion but it lacks construct validity (Jan. 4, 2011)

A construct is (1) research-based, (2) its meaning is agreed upon by a consensus of professionals qualified in the appropriate field of study, and (3) it’s quantifiable. All are weak for “effective law departments.”

  1. Seven essential practices of personal productivity (Jan. 6, 2011)

Seven essential practices that help you take control of your choices, your workflow, and your time.

  1. Indices, synthetic and natural, as a benchmark tool (Jan. 11, 2011)

You create a “synthetic index” when you combine several related measures into a single number, such as an index of corporate IP prowess.

  1. Three causes of stress for in-house lawyers: ignorance, in the dark, and in a hurry (Jan. 12, 2011)

From corporate lawyers of Dutch companies, respondents picked three main causes of pressure: “poor internal communication, colleagues’ lack of legal awareness and tight deadlines resulting in rush jobs.”

  1. Multivariable testing as a method of systematically taking decisions (Jan. 12, 2011)

Multivariable testing (MVT) is a mathematical way to sort through many variables in a decision and determine which are better without time-consuming calculations.

  1. We are not happier with many law firms to choose from: retainer’s regret and inflated expectations (Jan. 14, 2011)

We are less satisfied when we have more choices than when we had fewer. More choices means we pay a higher opportunity cost for the choices foregone and so can more easily regret.

  1. Objections to compliance reporting to the general counsel (Jan. 14, 2011)

“If the GC has responsibility for compliance and they do not disclose information or deal with a problem properly, they are going to get hammered. Combining this function takes the GC from a position of effectiveness to having their hands tied.”

  1. Data on the importance of headhunters and some projections about the law departments they like to draw from (Jan. 30, 2011)

Newly hired executives most often find their position through their own networking efforts, followed by through executive search firms.

  1. Cognitive entrenchment, a term that describes the rigidity that may encrust expertise (Jan. 30, 2011)

A trade-off appears to exist: as you become more expert in a knowledge area you become less flexible. An article dubs this “cognitive entrenchment,” and grounds its explanation in schemas of knowledge.

  1. A heterogeneity index and what it can tell about distributions of law firms retained, minority staff, software usage and more (Jan. 30, 2011)

A general formula for calculating heterogeneity has several possible applications for managers of law departments.