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Cottage industries for law departments, as seen in trade show sponsors

An earlier post covered the three most populous categories of sponsors at the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) Annual Meeting (See my post of Sept. 21, 2008: law firms, discovery, and compliance.). As I contemplated the group of sponsors as a whole it became clear that many vendors offer products and services that are hard to capture in a single term. A large consulting firms, to cite one example, might render services in “Billing,” “Legal Software,” “Management & Business Consulting,” and “Compliance.” Law firms are about the only pure play around.

Second, this particular group of sponsors ranges from start ups to Fortune 100s. It is quite common to be a small as a niche player; and yet consolidation has also created enormous organizations that sell to law departments.

Third, I suspect that the entrepreneurial cauldron is boiling. Most of the sponsors are probing other companies, strategizing about what direction to move, losing employees to spin-off efforts, seeking financing, and generally trying their best to grow and make money.

Profound observations aside, here is a list of most of the remaining sponsors by the first category in which they list themselves. Five sponsors classified themselves in “Billing” (Duff & Phelps, Mitratech, Serengeti, TrialNet, and UnitedLex). This is a mixture of consultants, matter management software, and an LPO. Also at five sponsors are “Legal Employment, Recruitment and Search Firms” (Ajilon Legal, Laurence Simons, Major, Lindsey & Africa, Robert Half Legal, and Special Counsel) (See my post of Sept. 16, 2008: search firms with 12 references.)

The category of “Legal Software” has four sponsors who described themselves that way in the first listing (CT Tymetrix, DataCert, Discovery Mining, and Legal Files Software. This is a broader category than “Billing,” mentioned above, and the vendors could have placed themselves in that group. One of them appears to be in the electronic discovery field.

With three sponsors each are “Legal Process Outsourcing” (Integreon, Pangea3 and UnitedLex) (See my post of Dec. 16, 2007: offshoring with 18 references.) and “Online Compliance & Ethics Training” (Corpedia, Practicing Law, and SAI Global).

Dispute resolution companies – “Other Specialty Legal Services” is the category – include two sponsors (National Arbitration Forum and American Arbitration Association) as did “Records Retention & Document Management” (IntraLinks and Jordan Lawrence).

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