The law department cottage industry: a retrospective and look to the future in this

Scattered posts discuss what I call the “law department cottage industry,” all the goods and services providers – other than law firms – who earn a substantial amount of revenue from or through law departments (See my posts of April 2, 2005 about unbundling services of law firms; Sept. 13, 2005 which discusses a 5% estimate for external payments by law departments; and Nov. 14, 2005 on offshore providers.).

According to BusinessWeek, Issue 4001, Sept. 18, 2006 at 42, the total revenue of the US “legal services industry” amounts to $225 billion. The largest slice of that pie belongs to law firms, but that still leaves billions of dollars for the rest of the providers, what I call the cottage industry.

Eight or nine posts in recent months have highlighted different niches within the industry. Others I hope to cover include jury researchers, copy services, equipment manufacturers and lessors, stationers, book publishers, CLE services, temporary staff providers (for example, Kelly Law Registry, Special Counsel) expert witnesses, photocopy and blowback charges, forensics experts, and many other denizens of the law-department cottage industry.

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