The fundamental goal for legal departments today is to validate the legal budget as a business enabler driving greater profits. This goal represents a huge change from the traditional approach of focusing only on reducing risk. This article explores three key challenges at the center of this change — procurement, talent needs, and outsourcing — and offers solutions to achieve it in the near future.

Procurement: strategic sourcing of legal services. Throughout the corporate world, there is a constant tension between corporate procurement leaders and general counsel. Procurement leaders want to take over management of the outside-counsel budget and use a strategic-sourcing approach, matching the best combination of price and service quality to select law firms, leveraging the company’s collective budget with a few firms to maximize bargaining power in fee negotiations, and openly considering whether to maintain internal lawyers if an outside firm can do better quality work at a lower price.

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