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Send sample cases to law departments to compare inside and outside costs. Really?

The UK-based law firm Eversheds posted on Legal OnRamp a document about a conclave with its Advisory Board (See my posts of March 23, 2008: additional background and two ideas; and Aug. 3, 2005: Baxter’s Litigation Advisory Board.).

A comment by one member of the Board rocked me: “In many areas of law it is possible to put out some sample cases to external law firms so that you have a benchmark of external cost. You can compare the cost of handling it inside to the cost of handling the sample cases outside.

I am amazed that any law department would try this, although I wish there were more of such empirical research (See my post of July 4, 2006 and Oct. 23, 2005: dearth of research on law departments; July 4, 2006 on lack of data; and Aug. 1, 2006 on natural experiments.).