A recent survey’s report on law department value ends with a strange twist. “In summary, the more the legal department can free up attorney time to focus on revenue-generating activities, the better it will serve the client and the better the business will perform.” If “revenue generating” comes down to completing sales contracts, that leaves little justification for lawyers who specialize in litigation management, environmental law, or real estate. They don’t bring in money, or not nearly as directly as commercial transaction lawyers.
In limbo too would be HR lawyers – arguably you have to have employees to generate revenue – and export/import lawyers – if you source or ship internationally they become important. Even if some legal work goes on far removed from cash registers jingling, my bottom line is that all lawyers in-house are equally instrumental to the success of the company.