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One view of the ideal background for a large law department’s administrator

In an interview, Helen Gillcrist, the veteran administrator of the Liberty Mutual law department, was asked “If you were recruiting to replace yourself, what sort of background would look for in the candidates?” The surprising answer comes online on June 27, 2011, from Legal Strategy Rev (CPA Global).

Gillcrist said she would seek “An MBA graduate with a background in Six-Sigma process improvement. We’ve been doing a fair amount of work in that field and that would be useful. And you need strong communication skills.” There is a substantial salary cost to hiring MBAs and Six Sigma applies mostly to very large law departments with enough process work to benefit from that toolbox of techniques. Her views, I believe, reflect the highly unusual circumstances of her company, not the typical needs of most law departments. Even so, no one can quarrel with “strong communication skills.”

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