Harvard Law School.Amy Campbell reports on Harvard Law School’s study on ‘How Corporate Clients Purchase Legal Services.’

The study’s focus will be on large companies (Fortune 500 or equivalent size) use and choice of outside legal counsel. Of particular interest to me is the portion of the study on how companies go about gathering information on factors that they deem important (i.e., market research, word of mouth, published sources, evaluating proposals, auditing).

Ashish Nanda, Research Director for Harvard’s Center on Lawyers and the Professional Services Industry, is heading the study. I’ve emailed Ashish suggesting the study look at how large law firm blogs are considered among the published and word of mouth sources for corporate legal counsel and executives.

Who should those doing the study contact to get information on the impact of law firm blogs on corporations’ selection of counsel?

  • In-house counsel publishing blogs.
  • Large law firms publishing blogs.
    • Tom Baldwin, Chief Knowledge Officer, or Vickie Spang, Chief Marketing Officer, of Sheppard Mullin, publisher of eight practice area law blogs.
    • David Bowerman, Business Development Director for Preston Gates, whose Electronic Discovery Law Blog (one of two for the firm) has greatly enhanced the firm’s reputation as a leader in the area of electronic discovery.
    • Attorney Kraig Baker of Davis Wright Tremaine, who says the ROI on the firm’s Privacy & Security Law Blog has been huge when used as a courting tool for large corporate work.

    As way of background, Harvard’s Program on the Legal Profession (PLP) was created in 1981 to promote research, scholarship and teaching about the norms, structures, and functions of the legal profession. In 2004, the PLP launched the Center on Lawyers and the Professional Services Industry run jointly by faculty at the Law School, Business School, and the American Bar Foundation. Among other things the Center fosters interdisciplinary research linking developments in the legal profession to broader trends in the market for professional services.

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