An article of mine on twenty ways to integrate a dispersed legal department will appear next week in the National Law Journal. It mentions teleconferences but not at the scale of 3M’s impressive application of that technique.
3M has 165 lawyers in 30 locations, so it is resolutely dispersed. According to Inside Counsel, Jan. 2010 at 43, 3M’s general counsel “hold[s] quarterly meetings of the entire worldwide department, by teleconference.” Just as a matter of logistics and technology the effort to link the detached department impresses me. More practically, I wonder how many lawyers dial in and I suspect that it is intimidating for people to speak up unless they are very senior and very fluent in English.