Marketing Association Panel ExploresLaw Department Cost-Saving Initiative

Saturday, October 1, 2005 - 01:00

Much has been written and discussed about the challenges faced by in-house counsel to gain more value for the dollars they spend on legal services, improve service efficiencies and lower costs.Until now, most client partnering and convergence programs to achieve these goals have been pursued by large corporations with hefty outside counsel budgets.

But last month, the New York Legal Marketing Association (NYLMA) presented a panel discussion titled Clients Teaming Up to Drive Market Change that outlined a cost-saving initiative available to law departments of all sizes.

The presentation, co-sponsored by The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, featured a panel of in-house counsel and legal service providers who detailed the workings of the Law Department Purchasing Consortiumsm .

The Consortium is a purchasing organization for law department leaders, modeled after successful group purchasing organizations in other industries. Its mission is to help law department leaders gain more value for legal and law-related services and improve efficiencies while also improving quality and bottom-line results.

Panelists pointed out that the Consortium helps law department leaders take definitive actions to obtain greater value in buying legal services. Consortium participants receive proven management tools and effective strategies they can implement immediately as well as a variety of resources to assist them every step along the way.

The Consortium currently is in its charter phase of operations. There is no fee for registering as a charter participant. Also, there is no cost to use the basic legal management tools the Consortium providers to all registered law departments or to access the Consortium resources. In the future, the Consortium may charge an annual registration fee and/or participation fee to support the cost of specific facilities or services.

Panelists who participated in the NYLMA presentation included Peter Jenkins, president of Law Department Consortium, LLC; Gary Cohen, executive vice president, general counsel and secretary for The Finish Line, Inc.; Sam Eberts, senior vice president, general counsel and chief compliance officer for Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings; John Wyman, partner with Murtha Cullina LLP, and Steve Lauer, director of integrity research for Integrity Interactive Corporation.

For information about the Consortium, visit www.lawdepartmentconsor tium.com.