At one of the consulting firms where I was a partner, we had a three-partner Executive Committee. The rest of us partners were once asked to complete an online evaluation of those three. The questions on the survey inquired about our views as to their integrity, fairness, creativity, productivity, and other characteristics. An independent group collected the evaluations and provided those partners with individualized, personal and private feedback.
It would be quite easy for a law department to do the same thing. The law department could generate candid evaluations of the general counsel and, for that matter, the general counsel’s direct report.
The most important consideration would be to give assurance to the members of the department that their responses would be kept strictly confidential (See my post of Sept. 27, 2005 on 360° evaluations.).