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Seven revisions of the most common management tools of general counsel, based on my 2005 list of 18

Back in the mists of time, I wrote about the 18 tools that general counsel most commonly use (See my post of April 14, 2005: based loosely on Bain’s annual studies of tools.).

Seven years later, I would no longer include balanced scorecards, employee satisfaction surveys, psychometric tests and retainer letters. Recreating what my thought process was back then when I included them gets me nowhere. Today I recant: those four tools rarely show up in law departments.

As to three other tools, I am dubious, to put it mildly, about including client satisfaction surveys, mission statements, and strategic plans. Although they have their adherents, those tools hardly rise to the level of “common.”

Thus, from the original list the common coin of general counsel in the management arena remain benchmarking, internal-expense budgets, matter-specific budgets for outside counsel, competitive bidding by firms, convergence, document management systems, electronic billing, intranet sites for law, matter management systems, off-site retreats, and personnel evaluations.

Today I would replace the dropped tools with internal discovery teams, litigation hold processes, matrix reporting, mentoring, portals, preferred law firms, and succession plans. Stay tuned for me update in seven years.

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