In this roundup, items on outsourcing, e-discovery, alternative billing, practice group management, and law firm IT infrastructure. 

A case in point in Business Line (from The Hindu in India) reports on Pangea3’s success in recruiting top-flight Indian legal professionals to its legal offshoring business.

E-Discovery (EED)
Does Your EDD Provider Make House Calls? in (8/15/06) discusses the growing impact of EU privacy and company IP concerns on processing data in discovery.

Alternative Billing
Many legal technology consultants and managers wait for the day of alternative billing to drive efficiency. See David Maister’s article on a new law firm (Exemplar) in the College of Law Practice Management publication on Innovation. (PDF). See also an interesting Wall Street Journal article on 8/21/06, Consultant Lets Clients Use ‘Gut’ To Set Final Fee ($), which describes how a management consulting firm successfully uses an alternative billing structure. Trium “states a figure and takes on a project if the sum is acceptable. After the project is done, dissatisfied clients can pay as little as half the quoted amount. Happy customers pay up to 35% more than the quote.”

Practice Group Management
How Do You Differentiate Your Practice Group From The Masses? by Susan Raridon Lambreth in Law Practice Today (August 2006) is another excellent article in a series on practice group management by Lambreth. This article spells out why the line “we’re high quality lawyers” is worn out. She explains ways of genuinely distinguishing a practice group, including using technology for service delivery.

Law Firm IT Infrastructure
Six Steps to a Global Network for Law Firms at (8/16/05) is an article by Karen Asner, the administrative partner of White & Case in NYC, about how the firm has created a unified global computer system and support structure. She stresses the importance of a “long-term investment in creating a seamless unified network,” carefully controlled access for clients, buying off-the-shelf rather than building, and providing the right mix of help desk support. She concludes that “studies show that the average law firm dedicates 6 to 7 percent of their gross revenue to technology spending — at White & Case we average just 2.9 percent.” I suspect many BigLaw CIOs wonder at how the firm manages to keep it’s IT spending ratio so low!