A number of years ago the prevailing philosophy was that legal departments should only provide legal advice. It was viewed as an intrusion into the company's business affairs for lawyers to offer strategic business advice. Some also viewed business as an area beyond the lawyer's training and expertise.
This thinking has changed dramatically in recent years. When consultants conduct client assessments, CEOs and other executives often tell them that they want their lawyers to be part of the business team. Most in-house lawyers now recognize this and want to broaden their traditional legal role. Because lawyers are trained to think analytically and strategically, they possess skills that put them in an ideal position to create both a business and legal model that achieves the objectives of a particular strategy.