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Flexibility – The key to client service

Not all law firms are created equal. Not all lawyers are created equal. Even within a single firm, clients experience different levels of service, capability and quality. At the same time, legal matters have become more complex and the risks attendant to unwanted results in those matters have increased. This confluence increases the pressure on in-house attorneys to manage those matters more assiduously and, ultimately, more successfully.

In-house lawyers should, therefore, focus on the capabilities of the individuals among external legal service providers rather than on the capabilities of the firms in which they practice. This concept underlies the “appropriate counsel” concept that I have advocated for years in books, articles and presentations.

A recent article highlighted the need for law firms to collaborate more in order to prosper. According to the panelists in that roundtable discussion, “flexible legal resourcing is not only here to stay but will become much more aligned with client interests in the future.” See the article at

As law departments explore and implement ad hoc teams for significant matter, drawing from the talent available in multiple organizations, law firms’ ability and willingness to work across organizational boundaries will become a greater differentiating factor among law departments’ selection criteria.

Steve LauerComment