10/4/12

Two Bombshells From Foley & Lardner: Records Dept Outsourced; Lexis-Only Shop

Above The Law received an internal memo from Foley & Lardner's CEO, Jay Rothman dated back on August 6th that announced the Foley's Records Department would be outsourced to Williams Lea, a business process outsourcing company. To those inside the world of law firm records departments, this may or may not be a surprise to anyone that a firm has decided to outsource the function of handling documents, especially paper documents, to a service provider like Williams Lea. Looking at the presentations (PDF) that Foley's Information Compliance Manager, Dana C. Moore, has been giving lately, it would appear that Foley has been planning a streamlining of the Records Department for a while. In fact, it is interesting to note that Moore's title changed back in April from Records & Information Compliance Manager to simply Information Compliance Manager. The process change was stressed in Rothman's memo:
Our rationale for making this decision is straightforward. The Firm is migrating away from records management processes that focus on the physical file to an environment where, in most cases, the electronic version of a document is the official record. Williams Lea has significant experience designing and implementing imaging processes, and our goal for the next three years is to re-configure and re-train the operations staff to adapt to the use of imaging technologies and work flows. Williams Lea is well-suited to implement these solutions and to provide the training and support that the records management personnel will need to be successful in the future. (emphases added)
Best of luck to those on staff at Foley in landing jobs at Williams Lea.

The second tid-bit of news that came out in the letter from Jay Rothman was his mentioning that Foley is now a Lexis-Only shop, apparently dropping Westlaw as part of an overall initiative.
Consistent with our strategic plan, we asked various Firm administrative leaders to identify and implement changes to streamline the processes that they oversee, with a focus on becoming more efficient and cost effective. The resulting initiatives are aligned with our overarching objective of delivering exceptional client service and promoting innovation in our work processes and staffing models. All of these efforts are intended to position our Firm for long-term success. The decision to migrate to a single source research provider for library services (Lexis) is a recent example of one of these initiatives. (emphasis added)
For many of us in the law library world, we've been waiting for a BigLaw firm (Foley falls in at #45 in the AmLaw100 revenue rankings) to pull the trigger and go to a single legal research provider. Now we have someone to use as an example. Now that the seal is off that bottle, it will be interesting to see how many other BigLaw firms finally start looking seriously at dropping the two-vendor legal research model and start going as a Westlaw, Lexis, or even Bloomberg Law only shop.

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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Greg,

Just wanted to let you know that Foley isn't the first AmLaw 100 firm to go single provider. Littler Mendelson went single provider over two years ago with great results.
Regards,

Lynn Harris
National Library Operations Manager
Littler Mendelson

Janice Henderson said...

Oh come on! Going to a single provider is not new. It's been tried for years. I've known firms who switched back and forth depending on the next contract renewal. But they've always in the past returned to signng contracts with both Lexis & Westlaw. Let's see how long this next round will last. It just depends on the acceptance of the partners and administration continuing to be on the same page for a single provider to succeed.

Janice E. Henderson
Law Librarian Consultant / Educator
New York, NY

 

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