Since I published my recent article on core teams for matters handled by law firms (Download rees_morrison_core_teams_in_law_firms.pdf), I have come back repeatedly to the fundamental point: law departments should push their firms to limit the number of timekeepers who work on a matter (See my post of Dec. 8, 2006 about core teams in law firms.). A draconian method to enforce such a limit would be to discount heavily the billing rate of any non-core timekeepers who work on the matter, or even write off non-core time. I think, however, that such ham-fisted fiats would be wrong.
Other posts after my article have covered various aspects of the core-team technique (See my posts of May 23, 2007 on a blended rate for the team; June 27, 2007 about Pareto’s Law and team billings; July 19, 2007 on core teams and practice-group management; Dec. 17, 2007 on the effects on team size of rate freezes; Nov. 22, 2007 on data about the opposite of core teams; Aug. 4, 2007 on presentations by the team during the selection process; and Nov. 11, 2007 and Sept. 17, 2006 on the different role of a client-service team.).