For some matters, Yahoo is now bypassing conventional law firms altogether in favor of outfits such as Paragon Legal or Axiom Legal, which rent out senior lawyers to handle short-term projects. Yahoo has used such temporary attorneys to handle legal work on projects that have included building a database or reviewing open-source agreements. Ron Bell, deputy general counsel at Yahoo, explains this in Leslie A. Gordon, GC California Mag. April 16, 2009.
Bell has various duties at Yahoo including to manage the legal operations group, which supervises legal department processes. The particular examples of projects sound lower level, lower risk, so there may remain a gap between the assignments of employee attorneys and fill-in-a-gap lawyers (See my post of Sept. 9, 2008: temporary staff with 8 references.).