If an in-house lawyer asks a law firm for assistance, an important measure of that firm’s contribution should not be the degree of novelty of its solution. More telling measures are outcome and cost. Creativity, doing something new, is over-rated (See my post of Oct. 29, 2006: creativity with 11 references; and Dec. 16, 2005: innovation with 7 references.).
Much legal guidance or legal service break no ground, as it can take the path more traveled. Do what has worked and needs to be done, and do it efficiently. It is misguided to privilege innovation and adventurous difference. Not because lawyers are risk averse, but because for an experienced practitioner, the pattern and solution is evident and the way through is clear (See my post of March 27, 2009: pattern recognition.). Why deviate and experiment? Why look for and crow about a new wheel to be invented?