Providers of legal research, other than law firms, and costs saved by law departments

An article, NY Times, Jan. 13, 2006, mentioned one method for law department’s to spend less: hire an outside service provider for legal research. Specifically, the article referred to LRN, and quoted Peter Kreindler, general counsel at Honeywell who “thought the company’s spending on legal services had fallen by at least 25 percent as a result of using LRN.”

Caution! Kreindler must have meant that Honeywell’s spending on legal research enjoyed that drop, not all its spending on law firms and other law-related vendors. It is doubtful that researching the law commands more than 5-10 percent of a law department’s typical law firm bills, so using a third-party legal-research firm, even at much lower hourly rates (probable) and even if the researchers know the area of law better (possible), can hardly cause such a dramatic shift in costs.

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