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Replace partner costs with paralegals internally (AXA Equitable)

The AXA Equitable law department, under General Counsel Richard Silver, used a Six Sigma-based process to drill down systematically on how its 11 litigators practice. “The analysis determined that in-house [litigation] attorneys were doing work that paralegals can handle, while sending out work they can do themselves” according to InsideCounsel, Sept. 2006 at 54. Accordingly, the department hired two temporary paralegals, and watched spending drop during the following year 5 percent below budget.

Whenever a law department’s professionals can assign work to a less expensive but qualified person, the law department climbs the efficiency curve (See my post of Aug. 26, 2005 about delegation to paralegals.).