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Activity budgets compared to cost budgets, and the final touch to both

On a panel recently, a speaker urged the attendees, all from law departments, to request from their outside counsel what he called an “activity budget.” Rather than a money projection of what the firm’s services were expected to cost for the budget period, the information he requests is what the firm proposes to do during the period – its activities. Projected tasks and outcomes make clearer the strategy of the firm, the pace it proposes to follow, and many of the assumptions driving its case plan.

Even better: combine a spend budget with an activity budget and top it off with a careful review and critique of both by the responsible in-house lawyer.