Tuesday, January 04, 2005

TIPS FOR CORPORATE COUNSEL (AND FOR FIRMS THAT SERVICE THEM): The Legal Technology section of Law.com has some useful tips for counselors to improve work product and efficiency for the upcoming year. The corporate landscape is littered with the remnants of companies (including law firms) that failed to see the future and seize opportunities. And unless one wants to join the other fossils, it's may be time to change how things get done. The tips include:

1. Commoditize routine legal transactions. Companies are now using assembly tools to help staff create standard nondisclosure agreements, employment offer letters, leases, etc. Couple that with an electronic signature to make the transaction paperless, add a contract management system that properly stores documents for recordkeeping -- and you've eliminated 90 percent of a legal professional's time to create the document.

2. Create consortia to share needed work. Acting alone, many companies' legal departments have built reputations for driving change. What if companies combined their experience and creativity? Only imagination limits the new technologies that would evolve, delivering best practices better, faster, cheaper and deeper than ever before.

3. Move your legal work to low cost firms located in the Midwest, South or other regions away from high cost centers.

4. Bundle work for leverage. A solid request for proposal (RFP) process can achieve incredible results. If you combine your buying power by bundling all of your legal work into one bid, i.e., all real estate work in the U.S., or all legal work in all practice areas for a particular country, legal departments can improve the quality of work they get from outside counsel, and decrease costs.

5. Use technology, not lawyers, to perform legal work. Like e-learning and self-service document creation, technology can process routine, commodity legal work for which firms charge clients on a time basis.

6. Create competition by always bidding your legal work. Competition improves product quality and reduces prices. General counsel issuing RFPs should require briefings on available law firm technology before awarding bids. Some firms and companies now use online "reverse auctions" as one way to leverage technology in the RFP process.

7. Set milestones for law firms and give rewards for exceeding goals (or penalties for missing the mark).

8. Move 80 percent of your fees to a non-billable hour basis. Hourly rates hinder progress -- there's no incentive for firms to improve productivity if they make more money by billing more hours. In-house counsel must demand fixed prices for work; firms must learn that a fixed price is not based solely on time.

9. Mercilessly measure the success of the technology and process changes based on productivity and efficiency.

Seja o primeiro a comentar


This Blog/Web Site ("Blog") is for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. Use of the Blog does not create any attorney-client relationship between you and Peter Zura or his firm. Persons requiring legal advice should contact a licensed attorney in your state. Any comment posted on the Blog can be read by any Blog visitor; do not post confidential or sensitive information. Any links from another site to the Blog are beyond the control of Peter Zura and does not convey his, or his past or present employer(s) approval, support, endorsement or any relationship to any site or organization.

The 271 Patent Blog © 2008. Template by Dicas Blogger.