Monday, May 15, 2006

Something for Nothing

This week, it is Athens. I am here for the ACC European meeting, and am sitting in a session about technology in the law department. The speakers are sharing some very useful experiences from their own law departments (and you will be able to find those materials in the ACC Virtual Library), but what really strikes me at the moment are the questions from the audience. Big department, small department- everyone wants one thing- a "Holy Grail" technology solution that will make the law department more efficient, get things done cheaper, ensure complete corporate compliance, and..... cost nothing, or next to nothing. The speakers have laid out ROI calculations showing that the money their companies have invested produced great payoffs, but there still was an investment up front. Apparently, even if you can show that spending $1 will get you $2 in savings, many law departments will not or can not make the investment. In my experience, the business units usually get the money, if they can make the case for the ROI. Maybe law departments need to take a lesson from the business units on how to do this as well.

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