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Seven suggestions for sourcing and procurement to get legal on-board

If I were the head of strategic sourcing for a company, and I wanted to try to endear myself to the legal department, here are some tactics I would consider (See my post of March 1, 2008: procurement with 17 references.). These offers to help do not go to the core of expense reduction, but they may ingratiate you, will certainly educate you, and might advance your cause.

  1. Offer to analyze some of their data about what the department has spent on outside counsel during the past 2-3 years.

  2. Check the match between the department’s guidelines for outside counsel and how bill review is actually done in the department.

  3. Suggest that you might be able to give some insights into their budgeting process between core spend and spike spend that is unusual and impossible to predict.

  4. Shadow the department’s next competitive bid, and suggest some ways to improve the process for the next one.

  5. Interview law firms that were most recently retained for significant projects and ask their lead partners how the legal department could improve the retention process.

  6. Conduct a comparative study of effective billing rates and allocation of work among different levels of lawyers and paralegals.

  7. Create profiles of the law firms used most by the law department.