As a consultant to law departments on more than a dozen competitive bids, I have found few that do efficient reviews of the responses that they get to their requests for proposals. Many different techniques and methodologies are used in these reviews, and not all of them are productive. Corporate law departments don’t compare notes much, and law firms stay mum about competitive bid processes, so it is difficult for either side to make the best possible use of this potentially very helpful tool. To remedy that gap (at least partially), here are seven innovative tips for conducting competitive bids.

1. Send the request for proposal to the managing partner of the firm. Some law departments send their RFP to the relationship partner, if the department has used the firm before, or to the head of a practice group if the work to be done would fall to that group. The problem with either approach is that the recipient may not give the RFP a completely balanced (i.e., fully informed) view.

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