Drinker Biddle & Reath has taken one small step into how law firms diversify their revenue sources. This could wind up to be a giant leap for the conservative legal sector on how it makes money and at the same time how that can benefit clients.
In the LEGAL INTELLIGENCER, Gina Passarella reports that Drinker Biddle & Reath had been operating Drinker Discovery Solutions for several months. What that offshot does is provide the technology necessary for mining the data associated with e-discovery. It invested millions in that. As a result it can provide e-discovery to its own clients and others.
That accomplishes two things. One, Drinker recaptures the revenue that would have gone to firms it outsourced e-discovery to. Two, this arrangement, because the process is done on a large scale, lowers the price for the client. Price is everything for clients and this therefore becomes a hot item.
Other law firms will be observing this as an experiment. They could gear up to provide a similar service. They could also consider how else they could bring more revenue in from what is not directly related to client legal work.
It's possible that someday the law firm as we've known it will no longer exist. Some of the firms might no longer even provide traditional legal services.