A previous post has defined the term “policy” (See my post of Aug. 26, 2006 while other posts have mentioned specific examples of law department policies: Oct. 29, 2005 on diversity among outside firms; Aug. 31, 2005 on billing policies at the Royal Bank of Canada; Nov. 6, 2005 about Domino and budgets and Dec. 15, 2005 on budgets; Feb. 4, 2006 on e-mail surveillance.).
Compared to formal, written policies, what we call “practices” are simply what goes on, unexamined or directed. A practice is for everyone to store their documents on the H drive, even though no one has stated that expectation or set parameters in a document. Practices just happen; policies are codified and issued.