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Rees Morrison’s Morsels #169: in brevia-blogia veritas

Another blog by a general counsel.  London-based general counsel Brett Farrell returned to an in-house position with an online financial services company in late 2011 after spending two years in private practice with U.K. firm Barlow Robbins.  Farrell has only been blogging for a few months, so let’s see how his site, Brett Tech Lawyer, fares (See my post of Feb. 17, 2011: eleven other examples.).


Discount from firm based on marketing costs avoided.  According to Law Practice, July/August 2012 at 40, “today, many firms’ marketing budgets range between 2.5 and 3.5% of their revenue.” At that level of expenditure, if your law department commits work to a firm that does not then have to incur marketing costs, the savings would seem to be the minimum reduction in fees that they could agree to.  In that light, a five percent fee discount seems miserly.


Document management in legal departments.  World Software Corporation announced several new clients, including Matrix Energy’s legal department.  According to the release, more than 5,000 organizations rely on the Worldox DMS, a document management package, including law firms, legal departments and financial services companies.


More quotes disparaging statistics.  “Surveys show that 117 percent of Americans don’t understand statistics, and 92 percent of them don’t care about them.”  I winced when I read this quip in the Atlantic, July/Aug. 2012 at 148, by Jeff Goldberg.  A quote from Winston Churchill made me feel worse: “Never trust any statistics that you didn’t forge yourself,” from the Times Lit. Supp., June 29, 2012 at 34.  Finally, a contemporary of Plato, Isocrates, wrote, “It is far superior to have decent judgments about useful matters than to have precise knowledge about useless things.” This came from the NY Times Book Rev., July 1, 2012 at 14.  That quote echoes some of the antagonism people voice about benchmarks.


Interviewing techniques beyond the tried-and-true.  Caren Ulrich Stacy wrote and asked me, “Do you know of any legal departments that use skills assessments, behavioral interviewing, case interviews, panel interviews – – anything other than the typical, basic one-on-one interview – – to hire their top lawyers?”  I searched on this blog and thought about Caren’s question – but came up almost empty (See my post of Jan. 1, 2006: past behavioral interviewing; and Jan. 1, 2006: competency interviews compared to IQ tests.).   Has anyone run across any examples of what Caren is looking for?