Attorney General William French Smith made his film debut earlier this year in a 55-minute videotape of the 32nd annual Attorney General's Award Ceremony. Lo and behold, this month all 50,000 employes of the Justice Department were ordered to take a break for a mandatory viewing of the full tape.

A memo sent to all subdivisions of the department by Kevin D. Rooney, assistant attorney general for administration, noted that viewing the film is "very important since it will increase employe awareness of and pride in the important and varied missions of the department and the outstanding contributions and achievements being made . . . . "

The memo goes on to note that administrative personnel would be called upon to "ensure attendance." Rooney's memo made it clear that no one would be spared, even those employes tucked away in offices far from the Washington headquarters.

To be sure no one was left out, 125 copies of the tape were to be circulated among various field offices.

According to the calculations of one less-than-eager viewer in the Justice Department, if every employe took out 55 minutes to watch the film, the time consumed would add up to more than 20 work years. "Given the screaming of waste, fraud and abuse, we found this scheme highly amusing," the employe said.

NOT TO BE OUTDONE . . . . Despite the media attention such a purchase brought the Environmental Protection Agency, the Legal Services Corp. has gone out and bought itself a paper shredder.

In a March 3 memorandum to "all senior staff," director of administration James Jasch said: "I'm aware that paper shredders have been very much in the news lately, so I suppose my timing of this is not too good, but we felt this should be in place when the inspector general comes on board . . . and before we get run over with our own paper volume."

In a March 14 memo, Legal Services President Donald P. Bogard reminded employes that use of the shredder would be forbidden until the inspector general takes office and the General Accounting Office finishes its investigation into agency activities.

But the corporation's board of directors voted the next day to leave the inspector general's position vacant for now. Meanwhile, the shredder is exile in a locked sixth-floor storeroom.

NEW FACES . . . . Phillip D. Brady has been named as a deputy to Associate Attorney General Rudolph W. Giuliani. Brady was director of congressional and public affairs for the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service. Giuliani is expected to leave soon to become a U.S. attorney in New York. D. Lowell Jensen, head of the department's Criminal Division, is a leading candidate to replace him.

Robert McCarthy, a senior partner in a San Francisco law firm, has been chosen as the new chairman of the Legal Services Corp. board of directors, with Washington lawyer Frank J. Donatelli as vice chairman. Also at the corporation, Charles Ritter has been named vice president for finance, M. Dennis Daugherty becomes vice president for operations and LeaAnne Bernstein will be secretary. Rex Broome has taken over public relations operations.