Alternative legal services providers (ALSPs) entered the legal market via a frosty reception by many, especially law firms, and have substantially impacted the legal market. But corporate law departments, who also may have been somewhat skeptical, were at least more willing to explore working with these alternative providers to deliver certain legal services at a reduced cost and possibly even delivered more quickly.

The upcoming 25th Annual Law Firm Marketing Partner Forum, hosted by the Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute, will feature a breakout session titled, “Strange Bedfellows: Examining Law Firm Business Development Strategy Around Alternative Legal Service Providers,” to discuss some of the most innovative partnerships in the market between ALSPs and law firms. The session will be facilitated by Byron G. Buck II, senior corporate counsel and manager of Law Practice Management for Caterpillar Inc., William Josten, manager, Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute; and John Sterling, chief marketing officer, Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox PLLC.

Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute, The Center for the Study of the Legal Profession at Georgetown University Law Center and Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford released the industry’s most comprehensive study to date on the emerging and fast-growing market for ALSPs in early 2017. The study determined that ALSPs accounted for approximately $8.4 billion dollars in legal services spend globally. This includes providers of legal process outsourcing, e-discovery and document review services, legal managed services, contract lawyers, and non-traditional providers, although not those involved in administrative services.

“Our study highlights the change in narrative around ALSPs: clients are no longer driven by cost savings alone, they are looking to ALSPs to bring technology, process and legal expertise,” said Eric Laughlin, managing director of Thomson Reuters Legal Managed Services. “The report shows there are tremendous opportunities for growth not only for ALSPs, but also for law firms, who can use – and are using – ALSPs as partners to expand their business.”

To follow what is discussed during conference and this session, follow Bill Josten on Twitter at @wjjosten, the hashtag #LEIMPF2018 and check in regularly at And to read more on the ALSP survey, check out the blog recap on Legal Current.


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