I am constantly dismayed at how many articles and presentations about managing law departments repeat what has previously been written about ad nauseum. Hundreds of articles have talked about alternative billing, and they all bemoan hourly billing and describe the usual suspects for replacement. We don’t need to read or hear yet again about the DuPont model and the same reasons for using fewer law firms. We heard enough about the benefits of tracking information regarding the matters a law department handles.
The same material is regurgitated and rarely does a new idea appear. I may be jaded because I pay attention to law department management and because for 20 years I have been consulting in this field. Perhaps, too, there is nothing new under the sun. I hope that I am not a hypocrite for writing this.
Even so, if there are approximately 80,000 in-house lawyers in the United States and they have an average tenure of 10 years, each year there are 8,000 new faces eager to read new articles – even on very old topics. Furthermore, each year some law departments come to the realization (new to them) that they need matter management, alternative billing, e-billing, discovery management, cost control, and they look upon what is recently written or presented as if it were fresh tablets from on high.