Published on:

Lawyers aren’t particularly desired as members of Boards of Directors; few legal committees

A study by Spencer Stuart in 2007 of the SAP 500 found that five percent of Boards of Directors had a standing committee for “legal/compliance.” Of those committees, 92 percent were composed entirely of independent directors. The research data can be found from the Spencer Stuart 2007 board index.

In the 2008 board index, one of the questions asked members of boards what kind of background they wished new directors to have. Out of the 127 responses to that question, a tiny one percent checked legal, which was the least desired of eight varieties of expertise. HR expertise, the next most commonly checked, was six percent. Another research finding is that lawyers are the least likely to chair any of the big-three committees on boards.

In short, there isn’t much respect at the Board level for legal thinking according to these studies