Maximizing the benefits realized from internal and external legal resources requires an understanding of a multitude of factors. The ultimate goal should be to identify and retain the correct resource for the task at hand.
As corporate clients exerted ever-greater pressure for lower or more controlled costs, their law departments focused increasingly on pushing outside counsel (and their in-house counterparts) to apply to the use of legal service techniques developed in project management.
To manage legal service effectively so as to achieve maximum benefits at the lowest reasonable cost requires a process of identifying and deploying the right resource for each identified task or assignment.
The "process" costs of managing litigation receive a great deal of attention. While such costs can be controlled, a larger target of companies' efforts to reduce or control expense consists of the outcomes of disputes and litigation.
Of the many responsibilities of in-house attorneys, one of the most significant (if not the most important in many situations) relates to the selection and retention of outside counsel for each matter entrusted to the in-house attorneys.
Successful teams often evidence nimbleness among their members. In an industry such as real estate, where rapid reaction to market opportunities can distinguish those who prevail from those who do not, this may be even more significant.
The selection of an attorney to serve as a company's general counsel can further a company's business goals significantly if the selection is well considered and draws from a pool of candidates with demonstrated strengths for the role.
In their efforts to realize greater value from the work of their outside counterparts, many in-house lawyers have pursued convergence programs and otherwise restructured their use of external resources.