In this roundup: outsourcing at Orrick and Baker McKenzie, law firm convergence (Marxist conundrum?), and law firms weathering the next recession.  

Orrick’s Staffing Moves Pay Off — Will Other Firms Follow? (The Recorder, 5/25/07) looks at Orrick and Baker McKenzie’s global service centers in, respectively, Wheeling VW and Manila. Some good data and follow-up reporting on two of the early outsourcing/offshoring movers.

Law Firm Convergence Sows Seeds of Own Destruction
I studied Marxism in college (yes, it’s true) and have a soft spot for arguments that it’s not just capitalism that sows the seeds of its own destruction. Rees Morrison has an excellent blog post, Forces that may slow or reverse the lock-in that converged firms presumably enjoy, that explains why even after a law department converges on a a few firms, the relationship may not endure. This could have implications for CIOs who need to budget for custom technology to serve a big client – make reasonable estimates about the life of the client!

Can Law Firms Resist Recession?
Well-known law firm management consultant Peter Zeughauser has a very good column, Does Your Law Firm Have What It Takes to Be Recession Resistant? in the American Lawyer (May 2007) that explains how law firms can survive and prosper in the next recession. (The last one, 15 years ago, is a distant memory for many.)