Six Sigma in law departments. Further to my post of March 8, 2006 on Six Sigma and International Truck, Intuit’s law department has “applied what is known as the Six Sigma method of problem analysis and resolution to analyze methods and repair weaknesses,” according to an article, posted on Law.com In-House Counsel from the Recorder, April 26, 2006 (Petra Pasternak).
Practice unit benchmarks (patent). In 2004, Intuit had 11 patents in its portfolio – but not patent lawyers. The new general counsel promptly “hired two IP lawyers, two patent paralegals, and a handful of support staff,” according to an article, posted on Law.com In-House Counsel from the Recorder, April 26, 2006 (Petra Pasternak). Absent a much larger portfolio, this seems like overkill (See my post of Jan. 3, 2006 about patent counsel and value delivered and April 9, 2006 on metrics for IP.).
Self-help for clients on legal issues. At Intuit’s 25-lawyer department, an “internal ‘self-help’ Web site is in the works, putting basic legal concepts at the business departments’ fingertips. This is an example of client self-service, as discussed in my post of Sept. 14, 2005 about this model.).
General counsel on the Board of Directors. In Canada, about one quarter of corporate counsel – not just general counsel! – sit on the Board of Directors of their organizations, according to In-House Corporate Counsel Barometer 2006, Canadian Corp. Counsel Assoc. at 25. This finding is quite different from US figures (See my post of Feb. 27, 2006 with an argument for GCs to report to the Board and April 12, 2006 about European GCs more often are on the Board.).
US law departments compared to European law departments (meta post). Vive la difference, perhaps! (See my posts of July 25, 2005; March 30, 2006 and New Zealand; April 12, 2006 about UK heads of legal; April 13, 2006 about numbers of in-house solicitors in both countries; April 12, 2006 on reporting lines; and April 18, 2005 on the European move toward risk management.)