My most recent post introduced an explanation for the question posed above:
The legal profession is an industry managed by committee. There are no outside boards of directors to step in with an “outside view” when things aren’t working.
Law firms are run by — and answerable to — no one other than their own lawyers. The law firm alumni who populate in-house counsel departments have never known any other approach — so they’re usually OK with this.
Of course, a corporation’s senior officers can express displeasure with their attorneys inside and outside of the business. But — with good reason — they are wary of stepping in and second-guessing lawyers steeped in legal rules and institutions of which those senior officers have only a modest understanding.
Free of an “outside view” whose forceful application might bring about necessary changes — business attorneys persist in a status quo of mediocre service delivery — as noted in the most recent post:
“There is unambiguous evidence of a significant and persistent disconnect between law firms and their clients. Only 25% of corporate legal buyers said they would recommend their ‘go-to’ law firm.”
But this “outside view” is what empowers human institutions to make painful-but-necessary changes when their outside environment threatens their effectiveness.
Early this year I posted about Andy Grove of Intel: