Extending the Law Department with Alternative Service Providers

Earlier this week, Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute, in partnership with the Georgetown University Law Center for the Study of the Legal Profession and the University of Oxford Said Business School, released a fascinating study of Alternative Legal Service Providers. According to the study, 60 percent of corporations are already using alternative legal service providers, and an additional 14 percent of corporations are planning to use one in the coming year.             

This should come as no surprise. What may surprise you, however, are the top reasons why. The conventional wisdom is “cost.” Law firms can be notoriously expensive with inflexible billing models, and alternative service providers are globally understood to be lower cost alternatives.

The top reason corporations turn to alternative legal service providers, as it turns out is, for “access to specialized expertise not available in-house.” The number two response? “To meet peak demand without having to increase our permanent headcount.” “To help reduce costs,” however, is only number three.

It is gratifying to finally have data to support what we at Morae Legal have known for a long time: while costs are A reason for the shift of some work from law firms, cost is not THE reason. Much more important is the opportunity it provides to align expert resources closely with the law department, without adding headcount or unnecessary expense. In fact, that is the philosophy behind all our offerings, including eLEXir, which is specifically designed to help in-house counsel extend their law departments. 

Is your corporation using or considering the use of alternative service providers? According to the survey it probably is. Do you value access to specialized expertise without increasing headcount? According to the survey, you probably do. eLEXir is here to help.