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More leaders needed as law departments disperse geographically

The larger the footprint of a legal department, the more it needs lawyers who can lead. Local offices need someone who can show the flag, at the high level, and agree to toner purchases at the low level. Different languages and cultures put a strain on distant, senior lawyers at headquarters, let alone time zones, so often the local senior lawyer must pick up the slack.

The more office sites a law department maintains the more opportunities it has to select high-energy leaders. If that is a goal, it’s important to provide some leadership training.

Three years ago I collected 32 blog posts from this blog that covered leadership (See my post of June 11, 2008: leadership with 32 references.).

Since then, at least ten more posts have addressed some aspect of in-house leadership (See my post of May 13, 2009: 3M sends three high-potential lawyers a year to a leadership development program; Aug. 27, 2008: Belgian law departments and survey about leadership training; Dec. 2, 2008: international group to foster leadership skills among senior law-department lawyers; Jan. 2, 2009: four dangers of leadership competency models; Jan. 8, 2009: leadership development coach at Borealis; Feb. 19, 2009: collective learning by a law department’s leadership group; May 13, 2009: development program at 3M; Nov. 6, 2009: capable general counsel combine leadership and management; March 9, 2010: manage or lead, with limited opportunities to lead in-house; Feb. 8, 2011: blog by Perry Cone on leadership and other topics; and Aug. 10, 2011: maturity model for leadership development.).

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