Rees Morrison, Esq., is an expert consultant to general counsel on management issues. Visit his website, ReesMorrison.com, write Rees@ReesMorrison(dot)com, or call him at 973.568.9110.
Related Posts with Thumbnails

Past Posts by Category

  • Benchmarks
  • Clients
  • Knowledge Mgt.
  • Non-Law Firm Costs
  • Outside Counsel
  • Productivity
  • Showing Value
  • Structure
  • Talent
  • Technology
  • Thinking
  • This Blog
  • Thoughts/Observations
  • Tools

  • Past Posts by Month

  • July 2012
  • June 2012
  • May 2012
  • April 2012
  • March 2012
  • February 2012
  • January 2012
  • December 2011
  • November 2011
  • October 2011
  • September 2011
  • August 2011
  • July 2011
  • June 2011
  • May 2011
  • April 2011
  • March 2011
  • February 2011
  • January 2011
  • December 2010
  • November 2010
  • October 2010
  • September 2010
  • August 2010
  • July 2010
  • June 2010
  • May 2010
  • April 2010
  • March 2010
  • February 2010
  • January 2010
  • December 2009
  • November 2009
  • October 2009
  • September 2009
  • August 2009
  • July 2009
  • June 2009
  • May 2009
  • April 2009
  • March 2009
  • February 2009
  • January 2009
  • December 2008
  • November 2008
  • October 2008
  • September 2008
  • August 2008
  • July 2008
  • June 2008
  • May 2008
  • April 2008
  • March 2008
  • February 2008
  • January 2008
  • December 2007
  • November 2007
  • October 2007
  • September 2007
  • August 2007
  • July 2007
  • June 2007
  • May 2007
  • April 2007
  • March 2007
  • February 2007
  • January 2007
  • December 2006
  • November 2006
  • October 2006
  • September 2006
  • August 2006
  • July 2006
  • June 2006
  • May 2006
  • April 2006
  • March 2006
  • February 2006
  • January 2006
  • December 2005
  • November 2005
  • October 2005
  • September 2005
  • August 2005
  • July 2005
  • June 2005
  • May 2005
  • April 2005
  • March 2005
  • February 2005



































  • Technorati Profile Creative Commons License This blog is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

    « The web, metrics and patents (The Nexus and the On-Line Branch) | Main | Cost-benefit analysis as a goal for law department research »

    Supervising in-house lawyers, pushing noodles, catching the wind, and finding gold at the end of rainbows

    My top ten reasons why it is difficult to manage in-house counsel (plus a bonus reason):

    1. Lawyers view themselves as autonomous, self-directing professionals, not robots. Their scores on a psychometric test (Caliper) shows lawyers to value autonomy much more that the general public (median or average 90, compared to 50)
    2. Many lawyers are skeptical about supervising and being supervised. By Caliper measures, lawyers – average or median score of 90 – have a much more doubting, show-me attitude than do members of the general public
    3. Law firms devalue management, praise analytic skills, long work, and individual effort – and most in-house counsel join from law firms
    4. Lawyers rarely get any training in how to manage professionals
    5. Lawyers dislike like being told what to do (ego, background) (“Herding cats”)
    6. Supervising lawyers and those they supervise don’t have enough time
    7. Lawyers devalue relationships to begin with. Caliper scores show lawyers at 12 on “sociability” as compared to 50 percent for the general public.
    8. Lawyers assume that other bright people don’t need “coddling” (“Sink or swim”)
    9. Defensiveness rears up when lawyers are asked to manage. Lawyers have less resilience than most people, having Caliper scores of 30 as compared to 50.
    10. Lawyers misunderstand what motivates professionals (recognition, peer approval, professional growth)
    11. It’s just plain hard to do, never ending, thankless, and impossible to quantify. Lawyers have higher “urgency” scores on Caliber than do members of the general public (72 compared to 50).

    Posted on November 27, 2005 at 09:31 PM in Talent | Permalink

    TrackBack

    TrackBack URL for this entry:
    http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d834519fb069e200d83462802b53ef

    Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Supervising in-house lawyers, pushing noodles, catching the wind, and finding gold at the end of rainbows:

    Comments

    Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

    How about this: They just don't like to work?

    Posted by: murf the surf | Nov 28, 2005 10:07:07 PM

    I think the first 6 reasons are absolutely true. Mainly, however, I think that legal skills and management skills are two very different skill sets, and the person who possesses both is rare indeed. However, management skills are behaviors, so they can be learned, and if your job calls for you to manage other attorneys, then you need to suck it up and figure out how to do it, not shrug your shoulders and abdicate. And lawyers may not be terribly "sociable" in general (lucky me--I must know all the ones who are), but I don't agree that that translates to devaluing relationships. If we did that, we'd have very few clients indeed, either in-house or outside.

    Posted by: In-House Daughter of GC Dad | Nov 29, 2005 3:46:32 PM

    What do you think of the minimalist approach? I am a single legal and compliance officer for a bank in South Africa. I would rather suffer and out-source, than manage a lot of attorneys.

    Posted by: Petere Fontes | Nov 30, 2005 1:37:59 PM

    The comments to this entry are closed.