Inside Counsel (“Business insights for law department leaders”) in a story mention in aManufacturing.net post, honors Dupont’s corporate legal department as “innovators in corporate legal departments.” According to the story, one of the DuPont Legal Model’s “secret weapons is its incorporation of paralegals. DuPont’s legal department historically had employed paralegals, and with an increase in litigation in the early ’90s it saw a greater need for more, so it bulked up its paralegal staff. This influx of paralegals coincided with the development of the department’s new model. Department management thought it would be a good idea to place more focus on these employees and created the DuPont Paralegal Utilization Model as part of the DuPont Legal Model.”
It is, of course, the “Paralegal Utilization Model” that caught my attention. Dupont has packaged the model as “Dollars and Sense of Paralegal Utilization: The DuPont Paralegal Utilization Model,” a publication that “offers best practices for using paralegals to their fullest potential.” It’s available for purchase, but I’m not willing to purchase it just to see what its like, so I have no knowledge of the details and am not endorsing or plugging the publication in any way. However, I do endorse its premise as stated by its creator, Marybeth Davies, manager of the Dupont paralegal program:
“At DuPont, we’ve created a culture where paralegals are partners with the business people as well as colleagues and partners to the lawyers with whom they work,” Davies says. “In this economy, we have to do more with less, and paralegals are really stepping in to fill that gap.”
Of course the primary motivation behind my endorsement of the premise is that it is the same premise on which I base much of my writing and my posts here!
If any of my reader have personal knowledge of this program, I’d like to hear from you.