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September 15, 2014

Legal services in-sourcing

by Dan Rodriguez

Is the focus of these two recent articles, one from WSJ law blog and the other from ABA journal.  The basic takeaway is that corporations are decreasing meaningfully their spend on outside law firm work and are handling much more of it internally.

Interesting quantitative analyses raise further questions:  Is this driven solely by economic considerations and, if so, what will outside law firms do to respond to these choices?  Are there kinds of matters which corporations are looking afresh at in-sourcing?  In other words, are there non-economic considerations underlying these strategies?  And will these developments impact the hiring of new law graduates, as law firms face the challenge of providing added value through assignment to freshly-minted associates?  Further, will they impact law school curriculum (perhaps by encouraging law schools to focus more squarely on training for in-house law careers)?

These are hard questions, and not new ones.  But the brute facts of legal in-sourcing bring these complex matters into ever-sharper relief.

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