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The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Though Aristotle spoke these words thousands of years ago, modern law firms would be wise to heed them today. After all, a law firm’s success depends, in large part, on the quality of its parts and how they work together—and many of those parts today are supplied or supported by third-party vendors.

It is no wonder, then, that over 50 percent of Am Law 100 firms have established a procurement function to improve third-party management capabilities, according to a survey HBR Consulting conducted in connection with our 2018 Law Firm Procurement Roundtable. Procurement teams can help law firms lower and contain costs, identify and manage risks, and raise the quality of supplier services—all of which factor into enhancing client delivery, improving law firm operations and reducing operating costs.

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