Richard Susskind on the two strategies for law departments to pare costs

Richard Susskind, the author of The End Of Lawyers? Rethinking the Nature of Legal Services (Oxford 2008), spoke recently at the DataCert conference, Generals of the Revolution. As he sees it, law departments under pressure to control costs and spending have two basic choices. They can follow an efficiency strategy whereby they cut both labor and line items (headcount and spending), commoditize work, or engage in what he calls multi-sourcing. Perhaps this also includes triage and it certainly includes technology.

Alternatively (or simultaneously) they can follow a collaboration strategy. They can share certain costs of legal services with other law departments, they can harness the power of information technology, or they can gain embrace online communities. Perhaps this includes collaboration with internal clients, either through self-service methods or preventive law training.

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