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The most important legal market trends of the past decade have been related to changes in client sourcing and buying patterns. Chief among those trends is the decision of general counsel to in-source legal work. Make no mistake, technological changes have been important, as has the rise of the alternative service provider. That said, when the data is analyzed, one can make a fairly convincing case\ that these important changes pale in comparison to the in-sourcing trend.

Skeptics of this argument should look no further than a 2017 Altman Weil survey of law firm managing partners. When asked to identify who their firm was losing market share to, 82% cited their own clients’ in-house teams. In-sourcing, it turns out, has been the most powerful force of disruption in the legal industry over the past decade.

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