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Law departments poorly analyze the performance of the firms they hire

Most law departments are deficient in formal evaluations of their outside counsel (See my posts of March 6, 2006 on NCR and its evaluations of firms; and Nov. 1, 2005 on the poor quality of these evaluations.). In-house counsel have little training on how to review bills; they rarely use the analytics available in matter management systems (See my post of May 1, 2006 with its questions about the ability of in-housers to review invoices well.).

One reason for low rates of turnover in outside counsel (See my posts of Oct. 4, 2005 about loyalty; and Dec. 14, 2005 about the arrival of a new general counsel.) the absence of critical scrutiny and tough-minded analysis. For one consulting project I developed a guide for inside counsel on management of outside counsel (See my post of Aug. 24, 2006 on guidelines and material.). The guide offered ideas on how to improve evaluations of outside counsel. There are many other ways to improve evaluations.