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Are law departments especially vulnerable to cost-cutting and headcount reductions?

“The in-house market has been here before — building internal size and strength while the economy is good, but then retrenching as company-wide cutbacks target ‘non-core’ parts of the business.” It hasn’t come to my attention that law departments are widely considered surplus, peripheral, — non core. Nor do I believe that companies on the ropes quickly lay off their lawyers – to the contrary.

But here is the statement in Legal Week, Nov. 23, 2006 at 22 (Derek Bedlow), as if it was self-evident that law departments are not a core part of the company, and are especially vulnerable to reductions in force and mandated budget cuts. My sense is that firms in trouble need their lawyers even more, so the that headcount does not yo-yo up and down.

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