Published on:

Practice support professionals (PSLs): supported by several law departments for their mutual benefit?

A piece on PSLs – professional support or practice support lawyers – in the ABA J., July 2011 at 27, led me to ruminate why some law departments don’t agree to share a PSL. The large law firms cited in the article have non-practicing lawyers who “provide practice guides, up-to-date forms and other support that frees up the time” of practicing lawyers. They sound like knowledge management specialists and they sound like a useful resource for many law departments.

Few law departments on their own, however, can afford a PSL. So, why can’t two or three law departments join together to retain a PSL, not as an employee but as an independent contractor, to help with those sorts of beneficial support tasks that the departments have in common? With the world awash in good lawyers looking for part-time or full-time work, and with law firms eager to second associates for opportunities with law departments, many would be available at modest costs when those costs are divide among several departments.

Posted in:
Published on:

One response to “Practice support professionals (PSLs): supported by several law departments for their mutual benefit?”

  1. Ian Nelson says:

    Great point, Rees. I agree. I think that law departments can and should benefit from economies of scale. As the law firms are now appreciating, it makes little sense for each of them to hire expensive people to do the same things. Law departments have a constant need for materials across pretty much all practice areas, and to do all of that work inhouse is costly and time consuming. We work with law departments all over the world to support their need for this sort of content. Outsourcing this work makes sense on many levels.