I reject Weserman’s main title. Corporate counsel make decisions every hour that change how the law department operates – they manage. Those decisions range from asinine to sublime, because of their consequences to quality, productivity, cost, client satisfaction, and personnel. A few lawyers make progressive, defensible management decisions most of the time; many make good decisions some of the time; some have tin ears for the tunes of good management.
Managing legal departments is not herding cats. It is not an oxymoron. Managing a law department is a set of skills, values, perspectives, and intuitions that most people can improve, understand and apply with at least a modicum of skill.
Ed Weserman’s title, catchy and ironic to be sure, irritates me. Described in a book review as having “vast experience consulting to diverse law practices,” Weserman’s new book announces in its (self-contradictory) sub-title that it takes on “tough issues for law firm managing partners and administrators.” [www.authorhouse.com/bookstore]