The Make-or-Buy Decision: Corporate Lawyer Edition

28 March 2008 at 11:35 am Leave a comment

| Peter Klein |

What are our Lawyers made of?
What are our Lawyers made of?
Of Causes and fees, demurrers and pleas,
Learned Brother and lots of pother,
Counsel and jury with very wise looks,
Flaw in the indictment and statue books,
Such are our Lawyers made of,
Such are our Lawyers made of.

That’s one answer. It ain’t sugar and spice and everything nice, that’s for sure. Whatever lawyers are made of, should firms make them in-house, or hire ones made by somebody else? Steven Schwarcz addresses this question in a new paper, “To Make or to Buy: In-House Lawyering and Value Creation” (Journal of Corporation Law, Winter 2008). Schwarcz notes that large firms have been shifting much of their transactional work from outside law firms to in-house lawyers. Analysis of survey data suggests that information costs and scale and scope economies are the most important drivers of this trend. Asset specificity seems to play a less important role, mainly because reputation effects are sufficient to mitigate opportunistic behavior by outside law firms. A very interesting paper on the make-or-buy decision.

Entry filed under: - Klein -, Law and Economics, Theory of the Firm.

Riding Off Into the Sunset. . . . Mizzou J-School Centenary

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