COVID-19 has been wreaking havoc on the legal industry – as discussed in Part One of this series. However, thanks to legal outsourcing services and technology, some firms have had a comparatively easy go of things. Teams transitioned rapidly to remote work with little or no interruptions. Paralegals and attorneys were able to deal with new challenges, such as helping with online school while also working, by taking advantage of remote paralegal support. Firms that lost significant amounts of income were able to adapt. Those that had an influx of inquiries and clients (because competitors closed) quickly brought on additional resources with no training delays or overhead increase. In short, legal outsourcing services (a.k.a. legal process outsourcing (“LPO”)) saved the day for many firms and their teams.
Five benefits of legal outsourcing services these firms took advantage of are:
Remote teams and expanded operating hours
Remote working is key to legal outsourcing and can be a massive benefit for your firm. First off, the technologies necessary to enable legal outsourcing services can also be used by your local/onsite staff to allow for remote work. In the event of pandemics, family demands, bad weather, etc., your local staff can continue to work from home. Secondly, providing remote paralegal support allows legal outsourcing services to take advantage of time-zone differences, effectively extending your office hours without significant overhead increases. Instead of being confined to the typical 9-6 workday, your firm can become a 24-hour operation.
Legal process outsourcing significantly increases efficiency. Legal staff is regularly burdened with routine work that is important but time-consuming and low value (data entry, template documents, monitoring records requests, etc.). These tasks detract from high-value tasks such as client management, brief drafting, or handling emergencies. Routine tasks fall through the cracks or are entirely forgotten. As a result, case timelines expand, legal teams, feel constantly overburdened, and work suffers.
Legal outsourcing services can provide the necessary support to increase efficiency. LPO teams support local staff by handling mundane tasks, such as preparing document drafts and monitoring requests and deadlines. This relieves pressure on your local staff and allows them to focus on high-value tasks. You have more time to get new clients in the door, your cases process faster, and your local team is less stressed. It’s a win-win-win.
Cost and time savings
Running a law firm is expensive and time-consuming before you even get to the legal work. Recruiting and hiring take ages; then, you still have training. So filling a resource shortage can be a major time burden. Add wages, payroll taxes, and equipment for each new employee, plus costs for rent, office equipment, IT infrastructure, insurance, benefits, etc., and the total price of taking on a new team member can be astronomical.
You can avoid these time and cost burdens by utilizing legal outsourcing services. First, taking on new team members will no longer be a lengthy process. Legal process outsourcing companies employ trained and experienced legal professionals. Furthermore, LPOs are all about “process” (it’s in their name, after all). This means they have expertise in taking your documents, procedures, stylistic intricacies, etc., and converting them into a precise set of workflows and protocols. Meaning new paralegals hit the ground running.
Even better, remote paralegal services won’t increase your overhead. You aren’t required to provide equipment, office space, insurance, or benefits. Nor do you have to worry about payroll tax or expanding infrastructure. Many LPOs provide various billing options – hourly rate, per project or per resource – at rates that offer significant cost savings.
In a Personal Injury practice, the faster a case processes, the more profit you make. Legal outsourcing services allow you to run an efficient firm staffed by experienced team members with much lower overhead costs and case timelines.
Scalability – more staff or less with a single email
Personal Injury practices are subject to ebbs and flows, more so than most other law firms. Many firms have times when they need several additional staff members, but that’s not true all year. These firms don’t want to hire new staff, knowing that the need will no longer exist in a few months.
With legal outsourcing, you can easily increase or decrease staffing levels to match your firm’s demands. A brief email or phone call can get the additional staff you need to handle a major spike in the workforce in place in just a few days. Similarly, when demand goes down, another email or phone call can reduce the additional staff without causing significant disruptions or lay-offs.
Long term benefits
Legal process outsourcing can obviously help a law firm survive the pandemic. However, these same benefits can be enjoyed for many years. The working world will be very different after the pandemic is over, and legal outsourcing services will enable you to adjust to the new way of doing business. Your staff will be less stressed and more engaged. Work quality will increase and be stable. Clients will love working with your content, efficient, on-top-of-everything staff. Judges will appreciate your work quality, and even defense attorneys will (perhaps begrudgingly) acknowledge your superior case management skills. All of this will result in your efficient, high-profit margin firm becoming the most sought-after and competitive firm in the community.
Savvy, in-the-know attorneys across the country are turning to legal outsourcing services to improve law firm fortunes long-term. Are you?