Integration in Legal Services
The Practice May/June 2021
A vertical view of legal work would recognize legal expertise and experience as central to all legal service, but adopting this view will require innovative processes and technology.
Vertically Integrated Legal Service
Disaggregation of legal work has not driven a degree of innovation in law firms and alternative providers that delivers clients the outcomes they want—not least, significant cost reduction and improved risk management. Instead, if legal expertise and experience are recognized as central to all legal service, this leads to a vertical view of legal work—wherein legal tasks of all types require a mix of legal expertise, process, and technology.
Experiments in Integration
Looking at several innovations with legal integration, we ask: What potential does integration and consolidation have to transform how the more individually oriented side of the bar reaches and serves its clients? What are the opportunities and challenges? What are we seeing develop in this space?
Knowing Is Half the Battle
What is knowledge management as a concept—in law—and outside of it? A case study of McKinsey’s legal department as it navigates a major knowledge management transformation offers insights and a possible path forward for the legal profession in a postpandemic knowledge landscape.
Vertical and Horizontal Integration
Vertical integration is an organizational strategy that prioritizes the incorporation of more stages of a product or service’s supply chain into the organization’s own processes and management. Horizontal integration, by contrast, prioritizes the consolidation of direct competitors at a similar stage in the supply chain.
Developments in Legal Service Integration
While we have yet to see such integration develop wholesale, recent developments suggest that law firms and other legal service providers are attempting to integrate new services.
Canary in a Coal Mine?
David B. Wilkins speaks with Leemore Dafny for a discussion around consolidation in the health care market and what lessons those in the market for legal services might draw from their experience.