General counsel can legitimately fret that a process to select outside counsel through their responses to a Request for Proposal can careen off the tracks. The team that develops the RFP has a tendency to Christmas-tree it with lots of steps, controls, and questions. Too many cooks spoil the broth; too many law firms get invited to the feast. The cumbersome procedures and burdensome requests for content are then magnified by a bureaucratic nightmare of evaluations, reviews, presentations and negotiations of contracts. Everything about the RFP takes on a Frankenstein life of its own.
RFP processes should be surgical: get in quickly, remove what you must, and stitch the incision (See my post of March 30, 2008: RFP with 22 references.)