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Rees Morrison’s Morsels #157: posts longa, morsels breva

For more consistency, have the administrator oversee evaluations of non-lawyers. When paralegals and support staff report to the administrator of a legal department, with input from the lawyer leading the team they support, the greatest benefit is consistency in performance objectives and measurement. The head of operations can calibrate across roles and compensation bands to bring more balance and internal equity to the evaluations (See my post of March 26, 2005: risk that non-lawyers reporting to lawyers become second-class citizens.).

There can be no such thing as an ultimate explanation. David Deutsch, The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations that Transform the World (Viking 2011) at 64, makes that claim because the resolution of any problem makes us aware of deeper problems. If a general counsel believes that competition drives most people’s fundamental behavior – that they strive to advance relative to others – that cannot serve as an ultimate explanation. What explains competition and why not another foundational driver? This notion relates to mental models (See my post of Sept. 10, 2005: mental models and decisions; and June 6, 2006: mental models are closer to theories.).

Australian Corporate Counsel Association predates ACC by two decades. Benny Tabalujan, ed. Leadership and Management Challenges of In-House Legal Counsel (LexisNexis Australia 2008) at 8, points out that “With its origins in the 1960’s, ACLA was one of the first fully dedicated in-house lawyer member organisations established” (See my post of Oct. 5, 2009: ACC’s predecessor formed in 1981.).

Parochialism and too-broad conclusions drawn from U.S. law departments. Parochialism, as used throughout David Deutsch, The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations that Transform the World (Viking 2011), means “mistaking …local regularities for universal laws” (at 76). People think parochially when they fail to appreciate that what they observe may not apply to a wider phenomenon. To speak of three lawyers per paralegal as a typical ratio, without adding “in mature U.S. law departments in the 21st century,” succumbs to parochialism (See my post of Jan. 18, 2011: differences between countries in key benchmarks.).