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L-R: Richard Caruso, vice president and general manager, Legal Media for ALM, moderates a panel discussion at the LMA's annual conference in Atlanta on April 10, 2019, with Mark Smolik, Alexia Maas and Will Barnette. L-R: Richard Caruso, vice president and general manager, Legal Media for ALM, moderates a panel discussion at the LMA’s annual conference in Atlanta on April 10, 2019, with Mark Smolik, Alexia Maas and Will Barnette.

Mark Smolik, general counsel and chief compliance officer at DHL Supply Chain Americas, says the average cost of a senior member of his in-house legal team is $174 an hour. Thus, his message to hundreds of legal marketing professionals gathered Wednesday in Atlanta for their annual conference was loud and clear: “I can’t afford to pay you $800 an hour.”

Dubbed “An Inside View: General Counsel Perspectives on the Use of Alternative Legal Service Providers and Artificial Intelligence,” the panel discussion featuring Smolik and other top in-house lawyers was a plea to law firms to remain relevant amid the trend of more work becoming commoditized and going in-house. Corporate Counsel parent company ALM Media sponsored the panel, which was moderated by Richard Caruso, ALM Media vice president and general manager for legal media.

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Kristen Rasmussen

Kristen Rasmussen is an Atlanta-based reporter who covers corporate law departments and in-house attorneys.

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