Boris Groysberg, Chasing Stars: The Myth of Talent and the Portability of Performance (Princeton Univ. 2010) at 127, talks briefly about how an organization, such as a law department, can excel at assimilating new hires. Unfortunately, research about this is scarce: “Little is known about integrating experienced professionals into a new organization.”
Most general counsel probably do not think too long about the post-hire integration of a new head of litigation or a new EMEA regional counsel. Groysberg’s study of equity research stars who change companies found that the most success came to those companies that “had thought deeply about both hiring and assimilation and had drawn up systematic plans to guide both processes” (at 128) (See my post of Aug. 25, 2010: on-boarding with 6 references.).
When a lawyer joins a department, it is too important to be casual, let alone negligent, about how to help that lawyer come up to speed both professionally and socially.