Beyond lawyering, law firms provide many other services which could be handled by specialist vendors. Photocopying, making travel arrangements, proofing documents, conducting online legal research, digesting transcripts, building intranets, running law libraries, scanning and coding documents, preparing medical reports, producing trail graphics, researching jury responses, all these ancillary services could be unbundled.
By unbundled, I mean, at least theoretically, that a third party could furnish those services at rates and cost structures less expensive than a law firm’s and probably with better quality, because the third party would specialize in the task and the task would be its highest priority.
Logistical and coordination challenges arise if a law department were to try to sever pure legal counsel from all the associated tasks that could be unbundled. Still, opportunities for cost savings are at hand.