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Legal: Vendor Relations and Purchasing

While most folks associate the field of law with the drama that unfolds in the courtroom, the action that takes place when it comes time to order supplies for the firm also can deliver an exciting storyline.

Law firms must frequently buy materials for documentation, upgrade from one high-powered IT system to the next and purchase a variety of other tools of justice. It's all about staying ahead of the game.

The good news is that legal professionals can choose from a wide range of vendors. Better still, many of these product providers offer expanded services.

Value-Added Resources

Some vendors provide not only materials, but also advice and other resources pertinent to the world of law. Simply put, they're improving vendor relations by putting all legal necessities under one umbrella, making it easy for firms to find everything in a single supplier.

If only for this reason, attorneys and firms should always research what's available before settling on a variety of vendors to fulfill a bunch of niches. With competition in the legal supply market building, these one-stop shops usually offer great deals to repeat clients and can save a lot of time.

From selling office furniture to business insurance, today's legal supply vendors cover the gamut. Listed below are just a few of the latest specialty services offered by certain suppliers striving to broaden their capabilities and reach out to their attorney customers.

  • Legal Resource Center: These online tools are fairly common on the larger vendors’ websites. Essentially, they offer a database of documents, tips and links to sites that provide info about domestic and international laws as well as past cases. In addition, some allow lawyers to download select legal forms and other files.
  • Online Continuing Education Database: Understanding that schedules in this business tend to be hectic, some legal supply vendors host databases with links to various online institutions. These vendors do the research work for the visitor, offering up background information on the virtual schools, a glimpse at available courses and requirements for accreditation.
  • Job Search Engine: This vendor resource offers the perfect solutions for firms looking to hire attorneys, paralegals, legal assistants, secretaries, etc. The online function lets the employer in need search for candidates by city, qualifications, work experience, etc. They simply type in their needs, and the service pulls up a list of prospect's resumes.
  • Virtual Advertising: The larger vendors that draw a share of public visitors looking for legal advice usually sell ad spots on their websites for participating firms. This service lets practices and attorneys reach a wide target audience for a reasonable price.
  • Insurance Resources: Some vendors’ websites host a database of links to companies that specialize in insurance for legal professionals. Not only do these provide a menu of such providers, they also explain the purpose for each type of available coverage.
  • Banking and Finance Support: A number of vendors provide banking and financial services geared to help new legal practices set up shop. These vendors unite prospective firms with experts to help with loan assessment, capital management and risk assessment. Other resources might include business financing, commercial factoring, litigation funding and valuation services.

When it comes to actual merchandise as opposed to business support services, more and more vendors in the legal field realize that convenience sells. For instance, many suppliers offer online product manuals and tip guides. Most also offer shopping cart accounts, allowing those in the legal profession to log on and load up on supplies - minus the hassle of punching in credit information every time they buy. Through these accounts, customers also can track purchase history and shipping progress.