In this Roundup: why a law firm strategy may be an oxymoron, outsourcing is harder than it looks, law librarians are probably safe from outsourcing, an excellent article on law firm business intelligence, and a cogent analysis of why UK and Australian large firms are not likely to seek now-legally-permissible outside investments. 

Law Firm Strategy
Effective CIOs increasingly want to align IT strategy with business strategy. In some BigLaw firms, this can be hard because the firm’s strategy is not clearly articulated. Now, from David Maister, in Are We In This Together? The Preconditions For Strategy, comes an interesting argument that some law firms may find it impossible to develop a strategy. This is a good read for strategically-minded CIOs.

Outsourcing (2 items)
Legal Reference from Mumbai? (PDF) by John Cannan in AALL Spectrum (March 2007) presents a detailed analysis and balanced view of the potential to offshore legal librarians. He concludes that offshoring is not likely to threaten law librarians any time soon; in fact, he even sees potential upside in Legal Processing Outsourcing.

Behind Outsourcing: Promise and Pitfalls (WSJ, 2/26/07) reports that outsourcing “details — what work to outsource, to whom, where, for how much — can challenge even the biggest, most sophisticated companies.” Two take-aways are use consultants and don’t outsource if the only goal is cost-savings.

Business Intelligence
Business Intelligence: What It Takes and What It Does (Law Tech news, 2/21/07) by BI expert John Alber of Bryan Cave is an excellent analysis and explanation of BI for law firms.

Law Firms Going Public (or Not)
Outside influence (, 3/1/07)) by the chief executive and London managing partner of large Australian law firm Minter Ellison is an excellent analysis of why large law firms are not likely to seek IPOs or other outside funding. Law firm IPOs is a hot topic in Australia and the UK. This article is a general analysis of the funding issues but was prompted by a regulatory-mandated delay in Australia’s first law firm IPO.