The Second Annual Law Department Operations Survey at 9, lists 16 initiatives that administrators in large US legal departments ranked by effectiveness. At the top, selected by seven out of ten, is “Use less expensive attorneys (i.e., regional firms).” Many ideas lurk inside that initiative as stated.
Legal skills are distributed throughout the country, far from the major “canyon” cities (See my post of April 8, 2009: regional law firms with 8 references.).
Many kinds of services for which external counsel are needed are not brain surgery (See my post of March 13, 2007: complexity with 4 references; and Dec. 27, 2008: complexity of legal practice with 20 references.).
Shopping for law firm capabilities and cost pays off (See my post of March 30, 2008: RFP with 22 references.).
Pedantic note: The “i.e.” should have been “e.g.” because lower-cost firms are not just in regions but in smaller firms that may be nearby. Also, the initiative could be to push law firms to delegate work down.