To Make or to Buy: In-House Lawyering and Value Creation
The most up-to-date version of this piece can be found in the Duke Law Scholarship
In recent years, companies have been shifting much of their transactional legal work from outside law firms to in-house lawyers, and some large companies now staff transactions almost exclusively in-house. Although this transformation redefines the very nature of the business lawyer, scholars have largely ignored it. This article seeks to remedy that omission, using empirical evidence as well as economic theory to help explain why in-house lawyers are taking over, and whether they are likely to continue to take over, these functions and roles of outside lawyers. The findings are surprising, suggesting that in-house lawyers may now be performing as high quality work as outside lawyers and that the reputational value of outside lawyers may be significantly diminishing.
Date of Authorship for this Version
Schwarcz, Steven L., "To Make or to Buy: In-House Lawyering and Value Creation" (2006). Duke Law School Faculty Scholarship Series. Paper 68.