When law departments prepare periodic client status reports, the reports help to market the activity of the law departments (See my posts of Sept. 22, 2006 about consequences of a law department marketing its services; May 10, 2006 on no good deed going unpunished; and June 30, 2006 on law department’s marketing themselves.). Status reports, however, take time to prepare and it’s a deft hand that can balance the effort against the value obtained (See my post of Aug. 1, 2006 on reasons to do and not to do status reports.).
A second benefit of periodic reports to clients of what departmental lawyers are working on is that clients can intercede and change priorities. Clients can also see whether their favorite project is being worked on or moving toward the top of the pile. Hence, status reports are a marketing tool, a work-mode management tool, and a client directive tool.