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Rees Morrison’s Morsels #148: posts longa, morsels breva

Save your telomeres. Telomeres stop chromosomes from fraying at the ends. From time to time chromosomes replicate and each time they do it shortens their telomeres. After 50-70 such divisions (a number known as the Hayflick limit after its discoverer), a chromosome can grow no shorter and it stops dividing. That’s bad news as it is one of the markers of old age.

Chronic stress causes premature shortening of a person’s telomeres, according to the Economist, April 9, 2011 at 91. The good news from the piece, for in-house lawyers chronically under the hammer, is that “stress management not only stops telomeres from shortening, it actually promotes their repair.” Another study in the same article “showed that exercise has a similar effect to counseling on the telomeres of the stressed” (See my post of May 18, 2007: stress and pressure with 7 references; June 11, 2008: stress with 18 references; and July 30, 2010: anxiety and pressure with 9 references.).

1.5 million lawyers on LinkedIn. Citing research by Corporate Counsel, Diversity & The Bar, March/April 2011 at 21, says that of the 50 million users on LinkedIn, “nearly 1.5 million are lawyers.” Approximately 5,000 law firms have business profiles and there are 4,000 groups with law as part of the title. As for my own Law Department Management Group, 150 have joined in the past two months and it has more than 650 members; we welcome you (See my post of Feb. 16, 2011: LinkedIn with 19 references.).

Returns on investment by general counsel should match or exceed the corporate rates (about 7%). Eduardo Porter, The Price of Everything: Solving the mystery of why we pay what we do (Portfolio/Penguin 2011) at 218, gives some background to this statement. “The return on corporate investments in the United States, before taxes, has averaged 6.6 percent per year over the past four decades.” Knowing that, a general counsel should look for something like that return or better, either in productivity increased or costs decreased, with software investments. Or with development of knowledge bases, establishment of new offices, hiring of attorneys, and other outlays of corporate funds (See my post of Oct. 22, 2008: ROI with 17 references.).

Is this offer genuine to provide law firm billing rates by city? The Valeo Attorney Hourly Rates database claims that it identifies hourly rates and fees of attorneys at large, middle-market and boutique firms, in over 65 Practice Areas and in 75 cities. To learn more and confirm the claim, I wrote Chuck Chandler at Valeo Partners months ago, but heard nothing back. Has any reader encountered Valeo?