"Where were the lawyers?" is what everyone is asking about the Penn State scandal. CORPORATE COUNSEL, of course, looks at that.
The answer probably is that the lawyers were acting like lawyers. They weren't nosing around, like journalists, for the stories developing beneath the surface. That is a waste of a good dark view of human beings.
Both journalists and lawyers fully accept mankind's shadow side. Yet, usually in-house counsels don't submerge themselves as journalists do among God's Plenty, listening and then connecting what the dots might be.
It might be shrewd for organizations to mandate their in-house counsel spend one-half time hanging out, developing sources, observing, trying out some scenarios. Believe me, whenever I put on my journalist hat, I bump right into the blabbermouths, the resenters, the boy/girl scouts et al. who sense there is something rotten in Denmark and are eager to share that perception.