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Three noteworthy points from IBM’s legal department: primacy of talent, client education through intranets, and offshoring

A recent post summarizes IBM’s establishment of global legal delivery units (See my post of Sept. 9, 2010: two centers with dozens of lawyers.). The same article from which that development came, Legal Strat. Rev., Summer 2010 at 14, contains several other worthy points about legal department operations.

One is that the legal department has created “doing law with less” websites, “a series of portals that provide legal updates to internal clients.” The website has overviews of various legal issues, which sound to me like primers, and frequently asked questions, all to bring clients up to speed before they reach out to the legal department.

Second, the general counsel explicitly puts people first. Robert Weber says “Any legal department’s biggest challenge comes in the way that it deploys and enables talent.” Well put and so true. Later, he restates the point: “Legal is nothing if not a talent business.” I have always felt the good talent that is engaged trumps any structure, technology, or allocation of roles.

Third is that IBM has turned to “utilizing resources in low-cost jurisdictions to carry out routinised work.” That includes offshoring, and it is probably with CPA Global.