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Contract administrators and lawyers (Convergys)

Convergys, a provider of outsourced services, lives and breathes contracts. For that reason, in late 2003 its law department had not only 18 attorneys in its three locations but also eight contract administrators (See my post of Oct. 26, 2005 on FMC having twice as many contract managers as lawyers, and reporting outside the law department; and March 25, 2005 on two-tiers of professionals.).

The article in Legal Assistant Today, Nov./Dec. 2003 (by Debra Levy Martinelli) also notes that adds that the Convergys department has only one paralegal. The law department uses a software database to track each of their thousands of contracts and link that information to a scanned copy of the contract (See my posts of Jan. 4, 2006 and Oct. 20, 2005 on software for contract management and Jan. 6, 2006 on McDonald’s use of document assembly software for contracts.).

It would be interesting to know the differences in day-to-day work, compensation, training, and career paths of paralegals compared to contract administrators. Further, should such a group of contract professionals, who typically track renewal dates, payments, and compliance with contracts along with preparing first drafts and perhaps negotiating the simpler agreements, be part of the law department? I have opposed that idea (See my post of March 18, 2005.).

Contract activities dominate the workload of many law departments, and I have offered other ideas about contract management (See my posts of April 18, 2005 that decries mandatory contract review by the law department; Sept. 17, 2005 on setting minimum requirements for legal department review; Dec. 3, 2005 on 30 productivity enhancers; Aug. 31, 2005 on Schering Canada setting standard terms; Jan. 3, 2006 on tricks Navigation Technology uses with contracts; April 27, 2006 on how your law firm can help you manage contracts.). For other comments about contracts see my posts of Oct. 10, 2005 on Roamware and its contract compliance database; Jan. 6, 2006 on BOC and how it tracks contract cycle time; and Dec. 9, 2005 (#2) on a contracts consultant.