Practice support professionals (PSLs): supported by several law departments for their mutual benefit?

A piece on PSLs – professional support or practice support lawyers – in the ABA J., July 2011 at 27, led me to ruminate why some law departments don’t agree to share a PSL. The large law firms cited in the article have non-practicing lawyers who “provide practice guides, up-to-date forms and other support that frees up the time” of practicing lawyers. They sound like knowledge management specialists and they sound like a useful resource for many law departments.

Few law departments on their own, however, can afford a PSL. So, why can’t two or three law departments join together to retain a PSL, not as an employee but as an independent contractor, to help with those sorts of beneficial support tasks that the departments have in common? With the world awash in good lawyers looking for part-time or full-time work, and with law firms eager to second associates for opportunities with law departments, many would be available at modest costs when those costs are divide among several departments.

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