Any company, whether large or small, is its own world, with its own rules, its own culture, even its own social classes. Within companies, in-house lawyers are seen with a bit of awe. It's a reflection of the real world. Lawyers have been placed on a cultural pedestal on television and in books and movies (my personal favorite being George Clooney in "Michael Clayton").
Being placed on a pedestal has its pros and cons. People aren't apt to question your judgment. This is a good thing when your company wants to do something that will get it in a lot of trouble and there is no one but you to say "no." When companies are hit with scandal, one of the first questions many will ask is, "Why didn't the lawyers do something?"