Reshaping the Legal Marketplace and Saving Money

Since the economic downturn, law firms have seen significant change. Revenue growth has slowed, new competitors have entered the market, and clients have shifted their focus toward greater efficiency and more sophisticated sourcing methods. The net result of these changes has been an increased level of competition among law firms and an increased focus on efficiency and cost control by law firm leaders.

Law firms have approached the issue of efficiency improvement and cost control in a variety of ways. Among the first approaches to be embraced by large law firms was an attempt to increase the efficiency of the law firm business model through relatively minor adjustments in operations. This included initiatives such as shifting toward open-plan offices to economize on real estate and spreading secretarial pools more thinly to reduce non-lawyer salary costs. Firms also tried training their legal staff on process improvement and profitability management, in the hope that lawyers would embrace more efficient ways of working. While these initiatives yielded some benefits, they did not result in transformative change at most firms.

Shared Service Centers: Reshaping the Legal Marketplace and Saving Money aims to assist firm leaders in developing a business case for a robust onshore strategy that combines back-office functions and legal services. The range of services that firms are currently conducting in shared service centers are evaluated, as is the potential savings that law firms can capture through onshore centers located in the United States.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • The Range of Services Being Delivered Through Shared Service Centers
  • Overview of Cost Savings Available From Shared Service Centers
  • Conclusion
  • Tool Descriptions and Explanation of Methodology