Fall is officially here, and many of us are already enjoying colorful leaves and cooler weather. Along with these pleasures of the season, many law firms are also gearing up for another budget cycle. While the annual process of reviewing prior spend and projecting future costs can be time-consuming, it is worthwhile to use budget season as a time to reflect on changes in your firm’s environment and plan strategically for future research and information needs.
Corporate law departments are increasingly challenged to track their e-Discovery activities and costs. In today’s metric-focused business environment, law departments should be able to answer simple questions about their e-Discovery lifecycle, including: Exactly how much is being spent on e-Discovery and how do those costs break down? What volume of data is being handled? What is the cost of reviewing documents? What are the opportunities to reduce costs?
In recent years, law firms have seen a major shift in how their libraries function. As new technology has transformed the legal space and firms face a myriad of unique challenges like mergers, employee departures and cost reductions, law library structures and priorities have transformed.
Results of HBR’s Law Firm e-Discovery Strategy Survey
A law firm’s capability to provide electronic discovery (“e-discovery”) services has gone from a novelty to a business necessity. Historically, firms have struggled to find the optimal business model to meet increasing client and business demands.
Law firm libraries provide essential business services that are often overlooked by leaders of their organizations. While it may be tempting to assume that firm leadership is to blame for the oversight, the issue often lies in communication gaps that exist between law libraries and firm stakeholders. Historically, senior administrative leaders were partners that directly experienced the value of the library. However, over the past decade, there has been a shift to non-lawyer leadership and as a result the library’s value is no longer apparent to firm leaders.
The majority of companies report that Law Department e-Discovery operations are still in the adolescence stage of maturity.