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With partnering so touted, why are there not more virtual teams?

The wrong question to ask at the start of a project is “should this project be done by inside or outside counsel?” according to co-authors the ACCA Docket, Vol. 18, May 2000 at 4 (Stephen J. Friedman and C. Evan Stewart). These two experienced general counsel assert that this is not the right question because almost any answer leads to inefficiencies.

The right questions, according to Friedman and Stewart, are “who is the best person to be responsible for this project” and “who should be on the team?” They argue for virtual teams, because “there is no reason not to have an inside lawyer in charge of a project, with outside lawyers working directly under him, or vice versa.”

If a law department and a law firm are joined at the hip (See my post of May 1, 2006 that challenges the notion of partnering.), the make-buy decision should be answered by a mix. In real life this blend is rare.