Procurement is changing the legal industry. It is driving another nail into the legal guild’s coffin by altering the long-standing practice of lawyers selling corporate legal services to lawyers. This is not simply a change in the corporate legal buy/sell dynamic; it is compelling evidence that law is not solely about lawyers anymore. The myth of lawyer exceptionalism has been debunked. Lawyers no longer determine what’s a “legal” matter–that only they can handle, nor do they dictate fees (“for services rendered”), control supply and buy sides of their labor-intensive business model, or insulate themselves from “outside” competition by self-regulation.
The emergence of legal procurement signifies that the legal profession is now the business of law in the eyes of those that matter most—buyers. Procurement speaks to a growing sophistication among legal buyers as well as new engagement criteria. This portends further changes in law—by whom, when, how, from what model, and at what price legal services are bought and sold.
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