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Infrastructure in a law department is tangible and doesn’t move

In the context of law department management, let’s try a definition by examples of “infrastructure.” Unlike people, who come and go during the day, for long periods of time a law department’s infrastructure stays in place. Hence, file rooms and conference rooms, being immobile unless there is a build-out or construction, are infrastructure. Offices and cubicles usually do not alter without human intervention nor do the buildings in which those facilities exist. Thus, infrastructure has fixedness.

Infrastructure also has concreteness, which means that the processes of a law department are not part of infrastructure. For the same reason of corporeality, the culture and norms of a law department – its organizational behavior – are not infrastructure. The valences around a law department, such as client satisfaction and employee morale, are not infrastructure. By my definition, if you can’t touch it, it’s not infrastructure. Similarly, someone can depreciate infrastructure, so it encompasses desks, chairs and sidebars.

Also excluded from infrastructure are outside lawyers. They are tangible, but quite malleable. For the same reason, the reporting structure of a law department as well as the geographic elements – office locations – are not infrastructure. What then about software? I say it is not infrastructure, but servers and computers and cabling are.