A new article reports on the importance of technology to the Cisco law department and its outside counsel. 

The Cisco Way in the September ABA Journal reports how the Cisco law department uses “the Internet and technology to improve its in-house legal practice—and any law firm that wants its business will have to do the same.” (Article spotted at Between Lawyers).

The article describes several innovative technologies Cisco has developed for its own law department though reports that the company is somewhat vague about the types of technologies it expects outside counsel to deploy. But with 70% of Cisco’s $75 million budget for outside counsel going to fixed fees, it’s no surprise outside counsel feel pressure to find technology to reduce costs, especially since Cisco also expects fees to drop over time.

For anyone interested in the likely future of not just legal technology but the legal market, this is a must read. It also reinforces the point that the billable hour eliminates motivation to become more efficient.