Fall 2021 Mattern Matters


Welcome to the Fall 2021 edition of Mattern Matters. My name is Rob Mattern, and I am the President of Mattern. With so much change, 2021 is a year that has gone surprisingly fast, and we now find ourselves in the season of gratitude. Gratitude is one of our key pillars at Mattern.

This year we are even more grateful for our clients, colleagues and the industry that we have dedicated our careers to. We are grateful for the resiliency of law firms and congratulate our peers on a great year—even a record-breaking year for some.

Though it’s too early for the holidays, I think you will find a number of “gifts” in this edition of Mattern Matters.

How to Outsource in a Post-COVID World – A Guide from Mattern

Law firms are at a crossroads, triggered by the transformational impact of the pandemic.  Most firms are looking to reengineer the delivery of legal services and many are seeing outsourcing of administrative and office services as a tool that supports their new, strategic vision.
However, according to Altman Weil’s 2020 Law Firms in Transition Survey, only 37.1% of firms report significant improvement when outsourcing to non-law firm vendors. How can firms improve their success rates when outsourcing – and what are the new prevailing market conditions to consider?

Mattern Helps Am Law 100 Firm Bring Office Services Labor In-house, Saving the Firm $1 Million

This Am Law 100 firm with over 800 attorneys in 27 domestic offices was pleased with its outsourcing provider relationship which serviced the firm’s equipment for all 27 offices and labor for three of the office locations--the firm’s other 24 offices were staffed and managed in-house.  

The firm’s leadership engaged Mattern as a trusted advisor to lead the process. Mattern had previously worked with the firm as far back as the first outsourcing contract where the consultancy managed the Request for Proposal process, oversaw the implementation of the service provider, and continued on to manage the provider contracts over multiple cycles.

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New Outsourcing Contract Yields $1 Million+ Savings for Dickinson Wright

Dickinson Wright PLLC is a Michigan-based law firm with a significant national practice and over 450 attorneys. By 2017 the firm had been with its outsourcing service vendor, Exela, for several years and enjoyed a workforce spread across three offices: Detroit, Troy, and Phoenix.

Around the time Exela’s contract came up for renewal, however, Director of Human Resources Linda Reyna, noticed an increase in staff turnover at the Troy office as well as some signs of under-utilization at other offices.

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New York Office of International Firm Takes In-House Operation to Outsource Operation

This Am Law 25, international firm has over 1,100 lawyers, across 16 offices worldwide. The firm approached Mattern to assist in the review of its New York location’s back and middle office services in anticipation of an upcoming move to Hudson Yards. The primary objective of the project was to modernize and improve the services to the end-users either by improving the in-house operation or by outsourcing it.

Through the Mattern process, the firm was able to enter into a firm-friendly contract that guaranteed the firm and the on-site staff would receive the attention required while bringing the operations into the future with the new Hudson Yards location. Mattern was also retained to oversee the implementation of the project, as well as the on-going monitoring of the contract.

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With Turn to Hybrid Work, Firms Are Recovering Fewer 'Soft Costs' and Losing Revenue

This article appeared in The American Lawyer, October 27, 2021

A majority of law firms surveyed by operations consultancy Mattern don’t intend to recover costs generated from at-home work, according to new survey results released Wednesday.

Mattern surveyed nearly 40 firms, ranging from global giants like DLA Piper and Baker McKenzie to boutiques and regional players, to determine the future of the “traditional soft cost” recovery model that most firms employ.

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Spotlight on Rob Mattern

In this issue, we put the spotlight on Founder and President, Rob Mattern. 

In-house Resources vs. Hiring an Outside Consultant:  Which is Better for Your Firm?

Being a consultant, I often get asked by law firms why: why should a firm hire a consultant to assist them on running a request for proposal or examine administrative workflows or help them improve their cost recovery revenue when they believe they have this expertise in-house.

My usual response is: “Why do your clients hire your law firm to represent them in a matter when your clients have an in-house legal department?”

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