Ron Pol, recommends a radical concept for your RFP process in terms of setting deadlines for law firms to reply. Writing in ACC Docket, Vol. 25, Sept. 2007 at 23, Pol urges law department managers to “ask how long they [bidding law firms] need to respond, and set the deadline accordingly.”
True, an RFP process should not arbitrarily stunt firms’ processes of deliberation and creativity. But law firms these days have prepared responses to many RFPs and they know the drill. Many have teams that are dedicated to this. They can address your needs, which are not all that unique, within two to three weeks (See my post of March 30, 2008: RFP with 22 references.).
You should run the process, not the inmates.