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Unjustified anti-consultant sentiment from InsideCounsel

Rob Vosper, InsideCounsel’s Editor in Chief, invites legal departments to submit client services practices that work so that the magazine can report them. In that invitation, at InsideCounsel, June 2007 at 4, however, Vosper blasts submissions about client services practices from consultants – and some of my best friends are consultants. Vosper sneers: “We don’t want it to be a list dreamed up by consultants who are far removed from the daily realities of managing a legal department.”

I take umbrage at that snarky dismissal of consultants. Assuming a consultant has worked with several legal departments, the consultant has the advantage over a legal manager of any single department by virtue of the consultant’s distance from the everyday, and the consultant does not take for granted that the way things are done is for the best. As part of such objectivity and comparative evaluation, an experienced consultant can share with a client’s legal manager the client service practices of other law departments. Good consultants don’t “dream up” what they recommend; they draw on actual encounters and thoughtful analysis. Better consultants, to conclude my response, create new solutions to challenges, like client service. Innovation that works is not a dream.