Am Law “A-List” legal firm

Business need: Ramp up new office and business development in market expansion

It takes more than profits and size for US law firms to get on The American Lawyer A-List of law firms—they must be well-rounded, meeting a variety of criteria. This firm has done that for over a decade, as one of the best.

When the firm made the decision to grow by expanding to a new market with a bi-coastal presence, the partners realized they also needed a way to support the research needs of attorneys and staff working across a three-hour time difference and entering a highly competitive legal market. Along with regular legal research, the firm’s library team would also need to support the firm’s marketing and business development teams. The library director was facing a spike in volume that he knew would gradually taper off and be inconsistent over time.

Business solution: Partner with reliable research service provider for as-needed support

Rather than adding more full-time employees who might not stay busy and whose coverage would be limited to east-coast work hours, the library director determined that finding a reliable and trustworthy research service provider to manage spikes and overflow would be a better fit. He had used traditional temp staffing agencies but was not satisfied with the work consistency and commitment: “They didn’t have the depth or breadth we needed for research.”

Office expansion map

Entering a new market, he realized the value of a structured, reputable service provider that could also provide national and even international support. He was familiar with LAC Group and knew people on LAC Group’s research and intelligence management team, and decided to present the team to the COO and library committee as the best fit. The committee signed-off on a one-month test which turned into a three-month pilot and a subsequent, ongoing relationship.

LAC Group handled docket requests, basic retrieval and traditional legal research, freeing the firm’s library team to focus on critical legal and business development research. The library director was satisfied, saying “LAC people are good and, even though you don’t always get the same person, there’s consistent quality.” He also viewed the LAC team as a resource to support more research when needed, including business development support and conflicts checks.

Business outcome: More research coverage with no added staff, overtime or operational burden

The firm established a foothold in its first new major market expansion with help from additional, as-needed research support. The library team successfully met a regular research volume of about 40 requests per day while having overflow support when volume spikes to 70 or more. The library director has gained consistent and reliable research support as-needed, without having to add full-time staff overhead.

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