In this Roundup: e-discovery updates, consolidation in contract management software, Microsoft as a BigLaw CRM, some legal market news of general interest.

Jeff Beard has a nice blog posts of highlights from a recent IPQC EDD conference, Key Issues Covered at the 4th E-Discovery Conference. Among other topics, he discusses potential issues with over-use of “attorney work product” label.

Contract Management
I’ve previously posted about contract management savings opportunities, driven by software. IACCM, in its November newsletter article Is contract management software already a thing of the past, reports on two recent contract management software acquisitions and, the article title notwithstanding, suggests that the software has a strong future.

Legal Technology Insider blog reports that Reed Smith will adopt “a CRM platform based on Microsoft Dynamics CRM.” The posts quotes managing partner Gregory Jordan: “We are partnering with Microsoft and Client Profiles on a firm-wide, global CRM initiative to use technology to help us identify new opportunities for strengthening, broadening and deepening our existing client relationships.” So, will MS give Interaction a run for the money? Will a different platform really address the deeper process and cultural issues of CRM?

Legal Market News of General Interest
Many legal market publications have reported on the war among BigLaw for law school grads, including stratospheric salaries. Two unrelated riffs on this theme:
1. Hard Case: Job Market Wanes for U.S. Lawyers (Wall Street Journal, 9/24/07, $) suggests what we are seeing in BigLaw is another instance of winner-take-all. It reports that “For graduates of elite law schools, prospects have never been better. Big law firms this year boosted their starting salaries to as high as $160,000. But the majority of law-school graduates are suffering from a supply-and-demand imbalance that’s suppressing pay and job growth. The result: Graduates who don’t score at the top of their class are struggling to find well-paying jobs to make payments on law-school debts that can exceed $100,000”
2. Midsize Law Firms Go for Big Changes (National Law Journal, 10/23/07) reports that mid-size firms are developing more flexible models for billing and compensation in reaction to the BigLaw salary wars. If smaller firms continue to develop alternative models, it will be interesting to see how they fare in recruiting.