Work done in-house compared to dollars spent outside (JDS Uniphase)

Legal metrics catch my eye and the Nat’l L.J., Vol. 29, Jan. 8, 2007 at 8, about to Matthew Fawcett, the general counsel of JDS Uniphase Corp., offered some eye-catchers. The profile says that the company’s “legal arm” – it does the legwork? – consists of 30 lawyers and that they perform nine-tenths of their total work in-house. That says to me that of all the legal services needed by JDS Uniphase, only one-tenth is done by external providers.

Now the eyes are caught: a paragraph later, the profile gives Fawcett’s estimate that “66% of the legal department’s annual spending goes to external providers.” Nothing unusual, since a median spending ratio is about 40 percent inside, 60 percent outside.

But, and I’m probably missing something and certainly being microscopic, if two-thirds of that large law department’s budget goes to pay for 10 percent of the company’s legal work, something is out of kilter.

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