Published on:

True, useful, and generalizeable – but not all three at once when we comment on legal department management

My brother earned his PhD from Harvard Business School, where his professors often emphasized that business research could be “true, useful, or generalizeable,” but rarely all three at once. I feel the same about my blog posts and much that is bruited about regarding law department management. Some examples:

It is true that legal departments have conference rooms, but that is not useful knowledge for managers.

It is useful to know that class action lawsuits have been declining in frequency, but that fact is not generalizeable to your specific law department.

It is generally thought that some practices have ascended to the throne of “best practices,” but that acclaim may be neither true nor useful. Convergence as a best practice is not true; “Hire the right firm for the matter” is not useful.